Raspberry Pi in Education Newsletter - Issue 18 - September 2016
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Raspberry Pi in Education


Latest news from the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team

Welcome to our September ‘back to school’ edition of the Education Newsletter. Did you miss us? We’ve been super busy over the summer working on some secret projects featuring [redacted] that will be available on [redacted]. That’s all we can tell you right now.

In our experience, returning to school evokes mixed feelings of excitement and horror. We've also decided that the summer holidays go something like this...

Weeks 1-2: Still trying to decompress.

Weeks 3-4: I am equidistant from both the start and end of term. I can finally relax.

Weeks 5-6: Oh dear LORD, where did the summer holidays go and where did all this marking and prep come from?!

While we can’t change the start of term, we can bring you a monthly dose of Raspberry Pi news and updates to soften the blow. Happy trails everyone!

The Raspberry Pi Education Team

Picademy and Code Club are coming to Glasgow

After the wonderful successes of the Education Team’s training events in Manchester and Newcastle, we are now moving further north to run our first events in bonny Scotland. Thanks to the generosity and support of our friends at Google, we can announce that applications are now open for Picademy and Code Club Pro events in Glasgow.

Location: Mitchell Library, Glasgow

Dates:     14/15 October
                25/26 October
                01/02 November
                28/29 November

As ever, we are looking for passionate educators who want to become digital makers and to understand how to use Raspberry Pis in a variety of educational settings.

Picademy is our free, two-day CPD event. You will make and hack your own cool projects while learning important skills along the way such as decomposing problems, testing and debugging, and building resilience. All workshops are underpinned by relating the learning to real-world classroom applications. Graduate as a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and join a supportive community of fellow graduates to help you on your path to success.

Code Club Pro is our free, in-school, 2-hour workshop. Pick from three strands of learning: Computational Thinking, Programming, or the Internet and the Web. Submit a request for us to come to your school and run a free twilight session with you and your fellow educators. We will support you to feel confident and excited about delivering the new computing curriculum!
Apply for Picademy
Request a Code Club Pro training session

New MagPi Essentials book: Simple Electronics with GPIO Zero

The publishing wizards at The MagPi have done it again with a new getting started guide (lucky number 7) which covers making simple electronics projects with the Raspberry Pi. It’s available to buy as a printed book or a download from iOS and Android bookstores. Alternatively, you can also download a free PDF version under our Creative Commons licensing agreement.

Check out Russell’s blog post for more information.

Skycademy soars again!

Over 08-10 August, we invited 30 educators to build and launch five High Altitude Balloons (HABs) at this year’s Skycademy event. A launch was comprised of a polystyrene capsule with Raspberry PI + LoRA boards transmitting radio and image data back to Earth for us to track. The balloons reached heights of over 30,000m (that’s three times the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747). The teams chased their balloons using telemetry data, plotted on to a live updates map, as they expanded in the thinning upper atmosphere, burst, and slowly parachuted back to Earth.

Launching a HAB combines aspects of maths, physics, computing, design and technology, and geography, making it a fantastic learning experience for both educators and students.

Read more about what our Balloonists experienced in our recent article.

Picademy continues to expand in the US

At the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center in Baltimore, we recently inducted another group of 40 Raspberry Pi Certified Educators into our community. The group explored digital making with Raspberry Pis, Sonic Pi, Scratch, Python, motors, glue, tape, and more. The participants also collaborated to create their own projects applying what they had learned. 

If you're a US educator and are interested in Picademy, you still have one more chance to join us this year. The Raspberry Pi Education Team will be in Austin on December 8 and 9th for the fourth and final Picademy in the US in 2016. This free two-day workshop will be hosted by the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Apply now.

If you'd like to receive email alerts about upcoming professional development workshops in the United States, please sign up here.

New Sense HAT emulator developed for Astro Pi

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with US-based startup Trinket to develop a web-based emulator for the Sense HAT, the multipurpose add-on board for the Raspberry Pi which is also the core component of the Astro Pi units on the International Space Station. We wanted to provide a unique, free learning resource to bring the excitement of programming our space-qualified hardware to students, teachers, and others all over the world.

The emulator will allow more people to participate in future Astro Pi competitions: you’ll be able to join in without needing to own a Raspberry Pi computer or a Sense HAT.

Go here to try it yourself:

Get involved at PyCon UK's Teachers' and Children's days

PyCon UK is the annual gathering of the UK Python community and its friends from around the world. Taking place in Cardiff from 15 to 19 September, it’s a chance for Python users of all kinds to meet with and learn from each other, through a programme of talks, workshops, and other events. We wanted to highlight two days that might be of interest to you:

Teachers' Day: now in its fifth year, PyCon UK's day for teachers gives you the chance to meet with and learn from developers, and gives developers the chance to share their expertise and contribute to the development of resources for the classroom. Activities will include workshops on using Python in the classroom, sessions on the micro:bit and Raspberry Pi, "Adopt a Teacher" for building long-term relationships between teachers and developers, a TeachMeet, and lots more.

Find out more and purchase tickets for Teachers' Day
Children’s Day: PyCon UK is also hosting a fun-packed day of activities and workshops for children to learn about getting the most out of the world with Python. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will be there to provide loads of fun workshop experiences including creating games, making robots, and learning to program and change the world of Minecraft. No previous experience is needed: our friendly volunteers will give you a helping hand.

Find out more and purchase tickets for Children’s Day

New Code Club Python Projects

Code Club UK have been busy working to improve their Python curriculum over the summer. They recently launched nine new projects which use Trinket, an in-browser coding environment designed for education. It's a tool that lets you write, run, and share programs or websites.
The projects cover key skills such as sequencing, variables, selection, repetition, as well as lists, dictionaries, functions and files. The projects also focus on data, both using open data sets (‘Where is the Space Station?’ project), as well as data collected and analysed themselves (“Popular Pets” project).
Want to have a go at our Python projects? If you’re based in the UK, you can visit our UK projects site, or if you’re based outside the UK, you can access the projects via our Code Club international website.
We also love to have feedback on our projects, so do let us know what you think! Either email us at or use the feedback form at the bottom of each project.

Don’t worry if you’re still in the middle of working through our ‘old’ projects - they can still be found in our archives, at:

New resources

Take pictures of yourself using the Pi Camera and convert them to blocks in our Minecraft Selfies resource.
Or maybe you'd prefer to create your own Rock, Paper, Scissors game in Python. 
Create celestial animations and cosmic sprites in our Lost In Space Scratch project.
Copyright © 2016 Raspberry Pi Foundation. All rights reserved.

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