Latest news from the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team
This time of the year is always an exciting one for the Education Team at Raspberry Pi. With Computer Science Education Week only a week away, we've been busy expanding our resources and outreach in order to inspire as many people as possible. This year promises to be the best yet! Our Astro Pi computers will be on their way to the International Space Station later this week; we've joined forces with Code Club; we've given away 10,000 of our new Raspberry Pi Zeros on the front cover of our magazine, The MagPi; and we've been working hard to make getting started with physical computing using Python as smooth as possible with GPIO Zero.
Hour of Code is back!
Why not spend an hour on teaching and learning computer science with Raspberry Pi? Computer Science Education Week takes place next month, running from 7 to 13 December 2015. Csedweek.org and code.org are asking everyone to spend just one hour during the week on a computer science-related activity, such as writing some code or learning computing concepts.
Regular readers will know that we’re about to send two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station as part of astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission; they are now packed inside the S.S. Deke Slayton II, scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on Thursday 3 December. You can find out all about the mission, and how you can get involved, on the Astro Pi website. As a special treat, we’ve included a selection of awesome space projects in our Hour of Code offering. You don’t need a Raspberry Pi computer to enjoy all of our Hour of Code resources. Our Gravity Simulator and Astronaut Reaction Time game both use the visual programming language Scratch, and while that works brilliantly on a Raspberry Pi, it works just as well on any old PC or Mac you’ve got lying about.
Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club join forces
Earlier this month we announced a merger with Code Club, something that we're hugely excited about! In many ways, the decision to join forces was an obvious step. We share a common mission and values, we hugely respect each other’s work, and there are clear benefits from combining our capabilities, particularly if we want to have impact at a serious scale.
Code Club and Raspberry Pi share one other important characteristic: we’re both, at heart, community efforts, only possible thanks to the huge numbers of volunteers and educators who share our passion to get kids involved in digital making. One of our main goals is to support that community to grow.
If you don’t know them already, check them out at www.codeclub.org.uk and, if you can, get involved. We know that many people in the Raspberry Pi community already volunteer at their local Code Club. We’d love to see that number grow!
Physical computing is one of the most engaging classroom activities, and it’s at the heart of most projects seen in the Raspberry Pi community. From flashing lights to Internet-of-Things smart homes, the Pi’s GPIO pins make programming objects in the real world accessible to everybody.
If you've done physical computing using Raspberry Pi and Python before, you'll have used the RPi.GPIO library. We found there was a lot of boilerplate code required before getting started, and that the code for the simplest of projects seemed intuitive, so we've developed GPIO Zero a new friendly library providing a really simple interface to connecting everyday components together.
BETT 2016 is just around the corner, and the Raspberry Pi Education team will be there every day showcasing projects and free resources, delivering hands-on workshops, and talking about computing education. The Bett Show will run from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 January 2016 with a special Raspberry Jam event taking place on Saturday 23rd inside BETT!
As ever, we hope to be joined by members of our fabulous community sharing their experiences of computing and digital making in education. We'd love you to be part of what we do at BETT 2016 and hope loads of you visit us and take part. If you're interested in volunteering, presenting or running a workshop, just click the button below and complete the form. We'll be putting together a schedule and sharing it in early January.