Raspberry Pi in Education Newsletter - Issue 23 - February 2017
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Raspberry Pi in Education

Hello, and welcome to our February newsletter! We have a bumper edition this month with loads of project updates, announcements from Bett (Read our recent blog post for an overview and more pics like the one above), and brand new resources to keep you busy.

We also want to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone who came and spoke to us (and for us!) at Bett. Feedback is vital to the Foundation's mission because we spend lots of time, energy, and money ensuring that we get things right for you. It's not possible to continuously improve by being in an echo chamber of your own thoughts: you need other people to bounce them off eventually. That's where you lovely people excel! Ultimately, it's about giving you the free resources and training you need to make computing fun and accessible in your classrooms or spaces.

Happy trails!

The Raspberry Pi Foundation 

Introducing Hello World – a new magazine for educators

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently launched a new free resource for educators.

Hello World is a magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research, and much more.

Hello World is available free, forever, for everyone online as a downloadable PDF. The content is written to be internationally relevant, and includes features on the most interesting developments and best practices from around the world. Thanks to the very generous support of our sponsors BT, we are also offering the magazine in a beautiful print version, delivered for free to the homes of serving educators in the UK.

Find out what's inside Hello World and start your free subscription by visiting the Hello World Homepage.

Announcing our new Digital Making Curriculum


At Raspberry Pi, we’re determined in our ambition to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world. One way we pursue this is by developing high-quality learning resources to support a growing community of educators. We have now taken an exciting step in this journey by defining our own digital making curriculum, which will help people everywhere learn new skills.

Learning anything involves progression. You start with certain skills and knowledge and then, with guidance, practice, and understanding, you gradually progress towards broader and deeper knowledge and competence. We came up with our own competencies, using characters to represent the different levels, starting with Creator and moving onto Builder and Developer before becoming a Maker.

Across these competencies, we have created five strands which we think encapsulate key concepts and skills in digital making: Design, Programming, Physical Computing, Manufacture, and Community and Sharing.

You can view our Curriculum, either online or as a PDF, and use it to help structure your students’ learning both inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, we value the support of our community of educators, so we’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to leave us any feedback you have using this online form.

Jam with us at ISTE!

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is heading to San Antonio, Texas for ISTE 2017. There we'll host a Raspberry Jam, a poster session that takes place on 26 June from 17:30 to 19:30 CDT. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to meet other educators who are enthusiastic about digital making and using Raspberry Pi in educational contexts. We welcome educators, students, vendors, and hobbyists to share what they do with Raspberry Pi. It's free to attend with your ISTE badge.

If you'd like to reserve a demo table, please complete this form. Each table has a bulletin board backdrop, power, and a large screen HDMI monitor. There's no need to bring a full poster. Even if you just want to boot up your Raspberry Pi and show something you're still working on, that's awesome and we welcome that. Tables will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Stay tuned for more details about the Raspberry Jam and all the other Raspberry Pi programming that’ll be offered at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio.

Upcoming training opportunities

Online Training

On 20 February, we are launching two brand-new free online training courses aimed at educators, specifically designed for your continuing professional development (CPD). Our new online courses are two hours per week, over four weeks, delivered in a convenient and flexible way for you.

The short courses are suitable for individual educators, as well as giving schools flexibility to use them for a cohort as inset CPD. You will also get the chance to connect with a network of other educators, and to develop your approach to teaching programming and physical computing. Find out more about our courses and how to sign up by visiting our courses homepage on FutureLearn.

Picademy: Free Training

Since we announced our schedule for 2017 in January's edition of this newsletter, we've had hundreds of applications from around the world for our UK Picademy events (see dates below).

There are still places left on several events so if you have a colleague or educator friend who you think could benefit from high-quality free CPD from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, let them know about Picademy and don't let the fact it's based in the UK stop you: we've had delegates attend from as far away as Malaysia, Canada, and Lebanon. Everyone is welcome! Visit the Picademy home page on our website to start your application.

Pioneers challenge, 'Make Us Laugh', still open

There's still plenty of time to register twelve- to 15-year-olds as a Pioneers team to respond to our first challenge. If you work with teenagers, and think you can make us laugh using technology, then head over to You have until Wednesday 22 March to submit your response to the challenge. Pioneers teams don’t have to use Raspberry Pis in their build: anything that could be described as technology and that allows them to get creative is fine by us.

If you register your team, we'll send you swag and the team will be in with a chance of winning one of our soon-to-be-announced prizes. But prizes aren’t the main goal of Pioneers: we want to celebrate what young digital makers are doing. Take a look at the hashtag #MakeYourIdeas to see how the Pioneers teams who have already signed up are doing. We’re particularly intrigued to see how this potato song is going to turn out:

New Sense HAT Trinket Projects to get stuck into

You may remember from previous newsletters that Trinket have developed an awesome online emulator for the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT add-on board. We already use Trinket for Code Club’s Python and HTML courses, but this emulator allows clubs to get a taste of physical computing without needing any equipment.

To make it as easy as possible for you to get started, we have written three new projects that use Python to control the Sense HAT.

Read more about them in our new Code Club blog post.

Code Club World looking for NGO Partners

When Code Club was established in the UK five years ago, no one expected that today there would be Code Clubs in over 100 countries around the world. Code Club has become a global phenomenon, and we plan to keep working until there is a Code Club in every community around the world.

Over the past five years, we have started official Code Club communities in ten countries, from Brazil to Bangladesh. We are now looking to move to three new countries – Mexico, Estonia, and the Czech Republic – and we are looking for NGOs who’d like to work with us!

Sound interesting? There are a few criteria our local NGO partners must meet:

  • Experience working with young people in education
  • A team to support you
  • A track record of recruiting and managing volunteers
  • Strong knowledge of the technology and education sectors
  • Fundraising, marketing, and social media experience

Becoming a local partner is hard work, but incredibly rewarding! Felipe Fernandes, Code Club Brazil partner, shares how Code Club is changing lives for young Brazilians:

“Code Club is helping Brazilian children to gain new perspectives about technology, and giving them opportunities to use creativity to do amazing things. Children are having fun learning to code and bringing characters from their imagination to life.”

If you are an NGO in Estonia, the Czech Republic, or Mexico who might like to be our next local partner, or you know the perfect NGO to join us, let us know! Find out more here or email us at

Astro Pi project update

To support the teachers and teams taking part in the European Astro Pi Challenge, we recently ran a series of three online webinars. They were delivered by YouTube Live as Google Hangouts on air and can be viewed again on the Astro Pi website here. For those of you who want to build your own 3D-printed Astro Pi flight unit we have also produced an assembly demonstration video here to guide you through the entire process. Please share pictures of your finished flight units with @astro_pi on Twitter!

We are also in the final leg of the European Astro Pi Challenge. The deadline for final submissions is 28 February. Teams are required to describe their missions, including the expected results, by filling in this template. The reports must be submitted in English, except for the French and Portuguese teams who can submit entries in their national language.

  • If you are a team from France, please go to the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) website to download the template in French.
  • If you are a team from Portugal please go to the ESERO Portugal website to download the template in Portuguese.

Please note that only entries that use an official mission report template will be accepted.

  • If you are a team from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom, please go here.
  • If you are a team from France, please go here.
  • If you are a team from Portugal, please go here.

Thomas Pesquet, ESA, ESERO, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, CNES, and the UK Space Agency wish you the best of luck!

The Weather Station Forecast


We now have over 860 Pi-powered Weather Stations in schools in 72 countries, and we’ve loved hearing about all of the great experiments the Weather Station students have been running already.

New educational resources

Over the past few months we’ve been busy developing new educational resources. These have been written by experienced educators and are designed to be as easy to use as possible. The great news is that they aren’t all dependent on you having one of our Weather Station kits: other schools are collecting the data for you!

  • Fetching the weather: this resource teaches you how to access the Raspberry Pi Weather Station database using a RESTful API, how to use the haversine formula to calculate which Weather Station is closest to you, and how to fetch the latest weather data from it
  • Graphing the weather: in this resource you will gather weather data from the Raspberry Pi Weather Station database, and use it to create graphs of sensor data over time.
  • Weather Station dashboard: in this resource you will use the provided Python script to connect Weather Stations all around the world to your Scratch project, and then visualise some of their sensor data.
  • Mapping the weather: in this resource you will learn how to fetch data from the Raspberry Pi Weather Station database, and plot that data on a graphical map.
  • Sensing the weather: over the course of this scheme of work, students will connect some simple sensors, be introduced to the Python programming language, and learn some techniques to gather sensor data.

If you have ideas about resources you would like to see, then let us know at

New resources

Code your own treasure hunt game using Trinket's Sense HAT emulator in our Where's The Treasure? resource.
Access our Weather Station database, and use Matplotlib to plot that data on to a graphical map in our Mapping the weather resource.
Create a game where you navigate space junk as you return to earth from the ISS in our stellar Space Maze resource.
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