All posts by Katie Gouskos

Celebrating the community: Sophie

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-sophie/

It’s wonderful hearing from people in the community about what learning and teaching digital making means to them and how it impacts their lives. So far, our community stories series has involved young creators, teachers, and mentors from the UK and US, India, Romania, and Ireland, who are all dedicated to making positive change in their corner of the world through getting creative with technology.

For our next story, we travel to a tiny school in North Yorkshire in the UK to meet teacher Sophie Hudson, who’s been running a Code Club since February 2021.

Introducing Sophie and Linton-on-Ouse Primary School

A teacher for 10 years, Sophie is always looking for new opportunities and ideas to inspire and encourage her learners. The school where she teaches, Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery in rural Yorkshire, is very small. With only five teachers supporting the children, any new activity has to be meticulously planned and scheduled. Sophie was also slightly nervous about setting up a Code Club because she doesn’t have a computer science background, sharing that “there’s always one subject that you feel less confident in.”

A teacher and her learners at a Code Club session.

Sophie started the Code Club off small, with only a few learners. But then she grew it quickly, and now half of the learners in Key Stage 2 attend, and the club sessions have become a regular fixture in the school week.

“Once I did have a look at it [Code Club], it really wasn’t as scary as I thought. […] It has had a really positive influence on our school.”

Sophie Hudson, primary school teacher 

Thanks to our free Code Club project guides and coding challenges like Astro Pi Mission Zero, Sophie’s Code Club has plenty of activities and resources for the children to learn to code with confidence — while having fun too. Sophie says: “I like the idea that the children can be imaginative: it’s play, but it’s learning at the same time. They might not even realise it.”

A teacher and four learners at a Code Club session.
Sophie and some of her learners at Code Club.

Visiting the Code Club at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School was a joyful experience. The children listened intently as Sophie kicked off the lunchtime club session. As they started to code, there were giggles and gasps throughout, and the classroom filled with sounds and intermittent squeaks from the ‘Stress ball’ project. It was clear how much enjoyment the learners felt, and how engaged everyone was with their coding projects. Learner Erin told us she likes Code Club because she can “have a little fun with it”. Learners Maise and Millie enjoy it because “it makes you worry less about getting stuff wrong, because you always know there’s a back-up plan.”

“It’s amazing. Anything is possible.” 

Millie (10), learner at Sophie’s Code Club

Three learners at a Code Club session.
Millie, Maisie and Fern from Sophie’s Code Club.

Attending Code Club had a profound impact on a 9-year-old learner called Archie, who shares that his confidence has improved since taking part in the sessions: “I would never, ever think of doing things that I do now in Code Club,” he says. His mum Jenni has also seen a difference in Archie since he joined Code Club, with his confidence improving generally at school.

Two learners at a Code Club session.
Archie and a friend code together at Sophie’s Code Club.

The positive impact that Sophie has on Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery is undeniable, not only by running Code Club as an extracurricular activity but also by joint-leading science and leading PE, computing, and metacognition. Head teacher Davinia Pearson says, “How could you not be influenced by someone who’s just out there looking for the best for their class and children, and making a difference?”

Help us celebrate Sophie and her Code Club at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery by sharing their story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Tim Peake joins us as we get ready to launch special Raspberry Pi computers to space

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/tim-peake-parents-stem-astro-pi-raspberry-pi-computers-space-launch/

We’re feeling nostalgic because six years ago, two special Raspberry Pi computers named Ed and Izzy were travelling to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. These two Astro Pi units joined British ESA astronaut Tim Peake as part of his six-month Principia space mission. Tim and Astro Pis Ed and Izzy helped hundreds of young people run their own computer programs in space as part of the first Astro Pi Challenge.

We are also feeling excited, because Tim and our Head of Youth Partnerships, Olympia Brown, are talking to British TV and radio shows today about all things space and Astro Pi, including the exciting new developments and how families can get involved! You might catch Tim on your favourite channel.

Tim Peake being interviewed about the Astro Pi Challenge and how parents getting their children involved will benefit the whole family.

Tim Peake has been our Astro Pi champion from the start

Tim says: “I had the privilege to take the first Astro Pi computers to the International Space Station in 2015. Since then, more than 50,000 children have run experiments and sent messages into orbit. The Astro Pi Challenge is a great activity for children and their parents to discover more about coding and to use digital tools to be creative.”

During his space mission, Tim Peake deployed Astro Pi units Ed and Izzy in a number of different locations on board the ISS. He was responsible for loading the Astro Pi participants’ programs onto Ed and Izzy, collecting the data they generated, and making sure it was downlinked back to Earth for the participants.

Tim Peake with one of the first two Astro Pi units during his Principia mission on the ISS.
Tim Peake with one of the first two Astro Pis unit during his Principia mission on the ISS

Fast forward six years, and we’re retiring Astro Pis Ed and Izzy and sending two upgraded Astro Pi units to space – in just over a week’s time, to be precise. This year, Italian ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will be taking the helm for the Challenge on board the ISS, while Tim continues to champion the Astro Pi Challenge down here on Earth.

Thank you Tim, for inspiring so many families to get involved with STEM and coding.

Your family’s very own space mission with Astro Pi

To get involved in the Astro Pi Challenge, you and your young people don’t even have to wait until the new Raspberry Pi computers arrive on the ISS. You can do Astro Pi Mission Zero — the beginners’ coding activity of the European Astro Pi Challenge — today!

Mission Zero participant Liz with her 2020-2021 certificate

In Mission Zero, young people, by themselves or in a team of up to four, follow our step-by-step instructions to write the code for a simple program, which we will send up to ISS to run on the new Astro Pi units. With their program, young people take a humidity reading on board the ISS and show it to the astronauts stationed there, together with a personal message or colourful design. This beginner-friendly coding activity takes about an hour and can be done on any computer in a web browser. It’s completely free too.

Logo of Mission Zero, part of the European Astro Pi Challenge.

As a parent (or educator), you support young people on Mission Zero by:

  • Registering as a Mission Zero mentor on astro-pi.org so we can send you a unique code for submitting your child’s program once it’s written
  • Helping them follow the step-by-step instructions so you can learn about coding together
  • Motivating them to keep going if their program doesn’t work right away, and helping to spot mistakes
  • Celebrating with them when they’ve finished writing the code for their Mission Zero program

After a young person’s Mission Zero code has run and their message has been shown in the ISS, we’ll send you a special certificate for them so you can commemorate their space mission.

A tweet about a young person who participated in Astro Pi Mission Zero.

And this year, Astro Pi Mission Zero is extra special: we are asking all participants to help us name the upgraded Raspberry Pi computers that will go to live on board the ISS. We’ve created a list of renowned European scientists whose names participants can vote for, in case you need inspiration.

Parents have lots of enthusiasm for learning about science and technology

It’s not just young people that benefit from getting involved with the Astro Pi Challenge – it’s something the whole family will enjoy doing together. And as findings from our recent UK survey showed, parents are rediscovering their passion for science, technology, and coding through helping their kids with homework. The survey found that parents of children in primary and secondary school are far more likely than any other group of adults to enjoy learning about science, with 3 in 5 parents (62%) revealing their enthusiasm for the subject. Nearly as many parents (58%) wished they had greater knowledge of STEM from school, and 62% said they are interested in learning how to code.

A mother and daughter do a coding activity together at a laptop at home.

“It’s wonderful to find out that parents of schoolchildren are discovering a passion for science and technology, especially after a year of home-schooling where they have been able to see first-hand what their children are learning.” says Olympia Brown, our Head of Youth Partnerships. “The Astro Pi Challenge is a fun, free, and creative way to learn about coding and carry out science experiments on board the International Space Station that both children and parents can get involved in.”

Young people love Astro Pi Mission Zero

If Tim Peake and we have not convinced you how fun and inspiring the Astro Pi Challenge will be for your family, then here are some young people to tell you about their experiences. We asked learners at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School how they found taking part in this year’s Mission Zero.

Learners at a Primary School taking part in Mission Zero.
Learners at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School taking part in Mission Zero

This is what some of the young learners shared with us:

“I learned a bit about how to code. Everyone was very helpful. This was very fun, and I wish we can do this again. It was tricky when we tried to make the colours change.”

– A learner in Year 4

“I worked as a team by helping check all the time. Next time I want to do it on my own, because I am feeling confident.”

– A learner in Year 3

Head over to astro-pi.org to register as a Mission Zero mentor today and start coding with your children. There you’ll find all the details you need for your family space mission.

The post Tim Peake joins us as we get ready to launch special Raspberry Pi computers to space appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Celebrating the community: Cian

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-cian-google-apprenticeship/

Today we bring you the sixth film in our series of inspirational community stories. It’s wonderful to share how people all across the world are getting creative with tech and solving problems that matter to them.

Cian Martin Bohan.

Our next community story comes from Drogheda, Ireland, where a group of programmers set up the second ever CoderDojo coding club for young people. One of that Dojo’s attendees was Cian Martin Bohan, whose story we’re sharing today.

“I can’t create anything I want in real life, but I can create anything I want on a computer.”

Cian Martin Bohan

Watch Cian’s video to find out how this keen programmer went from his first experience with coding at his local CoderDojo as an 11-year-old, to landing a Software Engineering apprenticeship at Google.

Cian, a boy at his first CoderDojo coding club session.
Cian at his very first CoderDojo session

Meet Cian

Cian (20) vividly remembers the first time he heard about CoderDojo as a shy 11-year-old: he initially told his dad he felt too nervous to attend. What Cian couldn’t have known back then was that attending CoderDojo would set him on an exciting journey of creative digital making and finding life-long friends.

Help us celebrate Cian by liking and sharing his story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Right from the beginning, the CoderDojo gave Cian space to make friends and develop his coding skills and his curiosity about creating things with technology. He started to attend the Dojo regularly, and before long he had created his own website about the planets in our solar system with basic CSS and HTML.  

“I made a website that talked about the planets, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. In fact, I actually still have that website.”

Cian Martin Bohan

In over 6 years of being part of his CoderDojo community, Cian was able to share his passion for programming with others and grow his confidence.

From meeting like-minded peers and developing apps and websites, to serving as a youth member on the Digital Youth Council, Cian embraced the many experiences that CoderDojo opened up for him. They were all of great benefit when he decided to apply for an apprenticeship at Google.

As someone who didn’t follow the university route of education, Cian’s time at CoderDojo and the mentors he met there had a profound impact on his life and his career path. His CoderDojo mentors always encouraged Cian to learn new skills and follow his interests, and in this way they not only helped him reach his current position at Google, but also instilled in him a steady desire to always keep learning.

The future is limitless for Cian, and we cannot wait to hear what he does next.

Help us celebrate Cian, and inspire other young people to discover coding and digital making as a passion, by liking and sharing his story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Celebrating the community: Yolanda

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-yolanda-payne-educator-equity/

So far in our series of community stories, we’ve collaborated with young people from the UK, India, and Romania who are getting creative with technology to change the world around them.

Yolanda Payne.

Our next community story comes from a highly regarded community member who has been connecting young people with opportunities to learn and create with technology throughout her career. A US-based educator with over twenty years of experience, Yolanda Payne shares our mission to put computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

“The biggest reason I’m so invested in technology is because people invested in me.”

Yolanda Payne

Meet Yolanda

Yolanda Payne is an educator you might recognise from our online courses. Based in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, she’s passionate about making technology accessible to all and helping young people become technology creators.

Join us in celebrating Yolanda by sharing her story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook! 

Yolanda says, “The biggest reason I’m so invested in technology is because people invested in me. They saw something that I was good at, showed me opportunities, and so in turn, that was my philosophy in teaching.” 

Yolanda got her first computer at a young age and was hooked instantly: it opened up many new opportunities and led her to choosing a career in education. She says, “The computer gives me the tools to be an artist, it gives me the tools to create things, and if it does that for me, then just imagine what it will do for kids!”

“If you give a teacher a Raspberry Pi and show them these resources, they’re going to be hooked.”

Yolanda Payne

Yolanda has spent her entire professional life dedicated to education. She gained a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi University for Women; a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Mississippi State University; and Educational Specialist degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Georgia in Curriculum and Instruction, and in Language and Literacy.

A female computing educator with three female students at laptops in a classroom.

Throughout her twenty-one years as a classroom teacher and her time running Code Clubs, Yolanda found joy in supporting students who have multiple challenges or complex needs, and in seeing them thrive in the subject of computer science. Yolanda points out, “I worked with both students that were considered to be in special education and students that were gifted. And one of the biggest things that I saw that I don’t think people realise, especially about students in special education: they are used to solving problems. […] You’d be very surprised at how real-life problem-solving skills flow very easily into computer science.”

Yolanda now works as a Research Associate at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We are tremendously thankful for her contributions as an educator and an advocate for technology and young people. 

Please join us in celebrating her story by sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook! 

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Celebrating the community: Toshan

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-toshan-coding-mentor/

Today we bring you the fourth film in our series of inspirational community stories! Incredible young people from the community have collaborated with us to create these videos, where they tell their tech stories in their own words.

Toshan, an Indian teenager in Bangalore.
Toshan had community support when he started learning to code, so now he mentors other young people at his CoderDojo club.

Watch the new film to meet a “mischievous” tech creator who is helping other young people in his community to use technology to bring their ideas to life.

This is Toshan

Toshan’s story takes place in his hometown of Bangalore, India, where his love for electronics and computing sent him on a journey of tech discovery! 

Help us celebrate Toshan by liking and sharing his story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

Toshan (16) first encountered coding aged 12, thanks to his computing teacher Miss Sonya. Describing his teacher, he says: “The unique thing is, she just doesn’t stop where the syllabus ends.” The world of digital making and Raspberry Pi computers that Miss Sonya introduced him to offered Toshan “limitless opportunities”, and he felt inspired to throw himself into learning.

“If we help people with their ideas, they might bring something new into the world.”

Toshan

Having found help in his local community and the online Raspberry Pi Foundation community that enabled him to start his tech journey, Toshan decided to pass on his skills: he set up a CoderDojo for other young people in Bangalore when he was 14. Toshan says, “I wanted to give something back.” Mentoring others as they learn coding and digital making helped his confidence grow. Toshan loves supporting the learners at his Dojo with problem-solving because “if we help people with their ideas, they might bring something new into the world.”

Toshan, an Indian teenager, with his mother and father.

Supported by his mum and dad, Toshan’s commitment to helping others create with technology is leading him to extend his community beyond the city he calls home. Through his YouTube channel, he reaches people outside of Bangalore, and he has connected with a worldwide community of like-minded young tech creators by taking part in Coolest Projects online 2020 with an automated hand sanitiser he built.

Toshan’s enthusiasm and love for tech are already motivating him to empower others, and he has only just begun! We are delighted to be a part of his journey and can’t wait to see what he does next.

Help us celebrate Toshan by liking and sharing his story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

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Celebrating the community: Laura

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-laura-robotics-girls-tech/

We love seeing all the wonderful things people are doing in the community — that’s why we’re sharing our new series of short films documenting some of the incredible journeys of community members in all corners of the globe!

A young woman with a robot she has built.
Laura found her peer group at a local CoderDojo and has travelled the world with her friends and the robots they have built together.

Today we bring you the third wonderful film in this series of community stories. For the series, we’ve been super lucky to collaborate with digital makers all over the world, and today’s story exemplifies how truly global the community is.

Watch our video to find out how this ambitious young digital maker’s passion for creating with technology has propelled her around the world! 

Say hi to Laura

Laura’s journey began in her hometown of Timișoara, Romania. In Laura’s words: “I joined my local CoderDojo, and it changed my life.”

Help us celebrate Laura by liking and sharing her story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

Laura (17) started attending her CoderDojo coding club four years ago because she loves problem-solving and wanted to learn more about how digital technology works. Her biggest discovery at CoderDojo, however, was the other young people there, who were just as passionate about technology as she was. Laura says, “I had the opportunity to meet people with the same interests. Everybody was working, exchanging ideas, having fun!”

Laura and the new friends she made worked together to solve problems in their local community: they built an autonomous waste-collecting robot and a drone-mounted air pollution monitor. 

“I want to bring a change to the world.”

Laura

But Laura’s tech journey did not stop there. In 2017, she travelled to Dublin to present her latest project — a Raspberry Pi-powered, mind-controlled robot! — at Coolest Projects International, which introduced her to a global community of digital makers. And since then she’s even taken part in a robotics competition at MIT!

At a Coolest Projects event, a teenage girl tests out her mind-controlled robot at a laptop with a man.
At Coolest Projects International 2017, Laura demonstrated her mind-controlled robot to our CEO Philip — she said the robot worked really well with Philip because he has no hair!

Working alongside like-minded peers and connecting with a global community of young tech creators has had a profound impact on Laura. She says, “I never imagined that I would have so many opportunities to travel, expand my horizons, and meet so many people. It’s thanks to CoderDojo and Coolest Projects that I’ve been able to build an amazing network of friends, and together we’re ready to take on the world.” 

We are so excited to see what Laura will do next. Help us celebrate Laura by liking and sharing her story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

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Community stories: Avye

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-avye-robotics-girls-tech/

We’re excited to share another incredible story from the community — the second in our new series of inspirational short films that celebrate young tech creators across the world.

A young teenager with glasses smiles
Avye discovered robotics at her local CoderDojo and is on a mission to get more girls like her into tech.

These stories showcase some of the wonderful things that young people are empowered to do when they learn how to create with technology. We hope that they will inspire many more young people to get creative with technology too!

Meet Avye

This time, you will meet an accomplished, young community member who is on a quest to encourage more girls to join her and get into digital making.

Help us celebrate Avye by liking and sharing her story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

For as long as she can remember, Avye (13) has enjoyed creating things. It was at her local CoderDojo that seven-year-old Avye was introduced to the world of robotics. Avye’s second-ever robot, the Raspberry Pi–powered Voice O’Tronik Bot, went on to win the Hardware category at our Coolest Projects UK event in 2018.

A girl shows off a robot she has built
Avye showcased her Raspberry Pi–powered Voice O’Tronik Bot at Coolest Projects UK in 2018.

Coding and digital making have become an integral part of Avye’s life, and she wants to help other girls discover these skills too. She says, I believe that it’s important for girls and women to see and be aware of ordinary girls and women doing cool things in the STEM world.” Avye started running her own workshops for girls in their community and in 2018 founded Girls Into Coding. She has now teamed up with her mum Helene, who is committed to helping to drive the Girls Into Coding mission forwards.

I want to get other girls like me interested in tech.

Avye

Avye has received multiple awards to celebrate her achievements, including the Princess Diana Award and Legacy Award in 2019. Most recently, in 2020, Avye won the TechWomen100 Award, the Women in Tech’s Aspiring Teen Award, and the FDM Everywoman in Tech Award!

We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her. Help us celebrate Avye and inspire others by liking and sharing her story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

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Celebrating the community: Zaahra and Eesa

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-zaahra-eesa-coding-team/

Today we are launching an exciting series of impact stories from the community, to shine a spotlight on some of the young people who are learning and creating with technology through our educational initiatives.

A sister and brother smiling while doing digital making at a laptop
Zaahra and Eesa have been learning to create technology through attending Code Club and taking part in Coolest Projects!

These stories get to the heart of our mission: to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

Designed in close collaboration with families across the world, our new series of short inspirational films showcases some of the wonderful things that young people are empowered to do when they learn to use technology to address the issues that matter to them.

We are incredibly proud to be a part of these young people’s journeys — and to see the positive impact of engaging with our free programmes, coding clubs, and resources. We can’t wait to share their unique experiences and achievements with you as we roll out the series over the next few months.

And we invite you to celebrate these young people by liking and sharing their stories on social media!

Meet Zaahra and Eesa 

The first story takes you to a place not far from our home: London, UK.

Help us celebrate Zaahra and Eesa by liking and sharing their story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

Zaahra (12) and Eesa (8) are a sister and brother coding team and live in East London. For the last four years they’ve been learning about computing and digital making by attending regular sessions at their local Code Club. Zaahra and Eesa love working as a team and using technology to solve problems around them. When they found it difficult to communicate with their grandparents in their first language, Sylheti, the siblings decided to code a language learning app called ‘Easy Sylheti’. Eesa says, “We wanted to create something that was helpful to us, but also to our family and the community.”

A girl and boy standing on the grass in a park

When Zaahra and Eesa decided to take part in the Coolest Projects online tech showcase with their app, they never expected that it would be picked as a favourite by Coolest Projects special judge Eben Upton, CEO and co-inventor of Raspberry Pi!

“I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.”

Zaahra

Describing the effect of learning to create with technology and seeing the success of their app, Zaahra declares, “I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.” And she’s using her new-found confidence to continue helping her community: Zaahra has recently taken up a role as youth member on the Newham Youth Empowerment Fund Panel.

Help us celebrate Zaahra and Eesa by liking and sharing their story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

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Celebrating future engineers

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-future-engineers-this-is-engineering/

We’re proud to show our support for This is Engineering Day, an annual campaign from the Royal Academy of Engineering to bring engineering to life for young people by showcasing its variety and creativity. This year’s #BeTheDifference theme focuses on the positive impact engineering can have on everyday life and on the world we live in. So what better way for us to celebrate than to highlight our community’s young digital makers — future engineers — and their projects created for social good!

A Coolest Projects participant, a future engineer we're celebrating on today's This is Engineering Day
So many Coolest Projects participants present tech projects they’ve created for social good.

We’re also delighted to have special guest Dr Lucy Rogers on our This Is Engineering–themed Digital Making at Home live stream today at 5.30pm GMT, where she will share insights into her work as a creative inventor.

Dr Lucy Rogers, here shown with soap bubbles, will be our guest our This is Engineering Day–themed live stream for young people. Photo credit: Karla Gowlett
Your young people can ask inventor Dr Lucy Rogers their questions live today! Photo credit: Karla Gowlett

Future engineers creating projects for social good

In July, we were lucky enough to have Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), as a judge for Coolest Projects, our technology fair for young creators. Dr Hayaatun Sillem says, “Engineering is a fantastic career if you want to make a difference, improve people’s lives, and shape the future.”

A Coolest Projects participant, a future engineer we're celebrating on today's This is Engineering Day
Our community’s young digital makers want to #BeTheDifference

In total, the young people taking part in Coolest Projects 2020 online presented 560 projects, of which over 300 projects were made specifically for social good. Here’s a small sample from some future engineers across the world:

Carlos, Blanca & Mario from Spain created El ojo que te observa (The all-seeing eye)

“Our project is a virtual big eye doorman that detects if you wear a mask […] we chose this project because we like artificial intelligence and robotics and we wanted to help against the coronavirus.”

Momoka from Japan created AI trash can

“I want people to put trash in the correct place so I made this AI trash can. This AI trash can separates the trash. I used ML2 Scratch. I used a camera to help the computer learn what type of trash it is.”

Abhiy from the UK created Burglar Buster

“As we know, burglary cases are very frequent and it is upsetting for the families whose houses are burglarised and [can] make them feel fearful, sad and helpless. Therefore, I tried to build a system which will help everyone to secure their houses.”

Tune in today: This is Engineering-themed live stream with special guest Dr Lucy Rogers

Professor Lucy Rogers PhD is an inventor with a sense of fun! She is a Fellow of the RAEng, and RAEng Visiting Professor of Engineering:Creativity and Communication at Brunel University, London. She’s also a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Adept at bringing ideas to life, from robot dinosaurs to mini mannequins — and even a fartometer for IBM! — she has developed her creativity and communication skills and shares her tricks and tools with others. 

Here Dr Lucy Rogers shares her advice for young people who want to get involved in engineering:

1. Create your own goal 

A goal or a useful problem will help you get over the steep learning curve that is inevitable in learning about new pieces of technology. Your goal does not have to be big: my first Internet of Things project was making a LED shine when the International Space Station was overhead.

2. Make your world a little better

To me “engineering” is really “problem-solving”. Find problems to solve. You may have to make something, program something, or do something. How can you make your own world a little better? 

3. Learn how to fail safely 

Learn how to fail safely: break projects into smaller pieces, and try each piece. If it doesn’t work, you can try again. It’s only at the end of a project that you should put all the “working” pieces together (and even then, they may not work nicely together!)

Dr Lucy Rogers will be joining our Digital Making at Home educators on our This is Engineering-themed live stream today at 5.30pm GMT.

This is your young people’s chance to be inspired by this amazing inventor! And we will take live questions via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch, so make sure your young people are able to get Dr Lucy’s live answers to their own questions about digital making, creativity, and all things engineering!

Engineering at home, right now

To get inspired about engineering right now, your young people can follow along step by step with Electricity generation, our brand-new, free digital making project on the impact of non-renewable energy on our planet!

Try out coding a Scratch project about electricity generation on  today's This is Engineering Day

While coding this Scratch project, learners input real data about the type and amount of natural resources that countries across the world use to generate electricity, and they then compare the results using an animated data visualisation.

The data we’ve made part of this project was compiled by the International Energy Agency, and we were also kindly given guidance by the Renewable Energy Foundation.

To find out more about This is Engineering Day, please visit  www.ThisisEngineering.org.uk.

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Learn at home #4: All about Scratch

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-at-home-scratch-beyond-basics-community/

There’s no question that families have faced disruptions and tough challenges over the last few months. For the parents and carers who’ve been supporting their children with learning at home, it can feel overwhelming, stressful, rewarding — or all three! As many children are still carrying on with learning at home, we are supporting them with extra resources, and parents with support tutorials.

In our last blog post for parents, we talked to you about debugging — finding and fixing errors in code. This week we’re covering the amazing things young people can do and learn with Scratch — it’s not just for beginners!

Getting the most out of Scratch

Scratch is a block-based programming tool that lets you create lots of different projects. It’s often one of the first programming tools children use in primary school. We’ve made a video introduction to Scratch in case you’re less familiar with it.

If your child at home is ready to try more challenging coding tasks, Scratch is still a great tool for them, as they can use it to build some truly epic projects.

Joel Bayubasire CoderDojo

In this video, Mark shows you examples from the Scratch community and signposts useful resources that will support you and your children as they develop their confidence in Scratch.

Scratch is a great tool for building complex, unique, and challenging projects. For example, the Scratch game Fortnite Z involves 13,500 Scratch blocks and took more than four months to develop. People have also built astounding 3D graphic projects in Scratch!

3D model of a glycine molecule
A 3D model of a molecule, built in Scratch

You can find other amazing examples if you explore the Coolest Projects online showcase. Our free annual tech showcase for young people has lots of great Scratch projects: plenty of inspiration for you and your young people at home.

Exploring and learning in the Scratch community 

The Scratch community is a great place for young people to safely share their projects with each other all year round, and to like and comment on them. It’s a real treasure trove they can explore to find inspiration and learning opportunities, and for young people who are spending more time at home, it offers a way to connect to peers around the world.

In this video, Katharine shows you how the team behind Scratch keeps the community safe, where you as a parent can find the information you need, and how your child will engage with the community.

Code along with us! 

To keep young people entertained and learning, we’re running a Digital Making at Home series. You’ll find new, free code-along videos every Monday, with different themes and projects for all levels of experience. We have lots of Scratch code-alongs on offer! We also live-stream a code-along session every Wednesday at 14:00 BST at rpf.io/home.

Digital Making at Home from the Raspberry Pi Foundation V1

We want your feedback

We’ve been asking parents what they’d like to see as part of our initiative to support them and the young people they care for. They’ve sent us some great suggestions so far! If you’d like to share your thoughts too, email us at [email protected].

Sign up for our bi-weekly emails, tailored to your needs

Sign up now to start receiving free activities suitable to your child’s age and experience level straight to your inbox. And let us know what you as a parent or guardian need help with, and what you’d like more or less of from us.


PS All of our resources are completely free. This is made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organisations. Learn how you can help too!

The post Learn at home #4: All about Scratch appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Learn at home #3: building resilience and problem solving skills

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-at-home-resilience-problem-solving-debugging/

With changes to school and work around the world, many parents and carers still aren’t sure what to expect over the next few weeks. While some children have returned to school, we know that many young people and families are still learning and working at home. We’re providing lots of free extra resources for young people, and we’re offering free support tutorials for parents who want to help their children understand more about the tools they’ll be using on their coding journey.

a kid doing digital making at home

In our last blog post for parents, we talked to you about Python, which is a widely used text-based programming language, and about Trinket, a free online platform that lets you write and run your code in any web browser.

This week we talk about the importance of resilience and problem solving as we cover debugging — finding and fixing errors in your code.

Debugging explained

When your child embarks on a coding project, expect to hear the phrase “It’s not working!” often. It’s really important to recognise that their code might not work on the first (or fourth) go, and that that’s completely OK. Debugging is a key process for young people who are learning how to code, and it helps them to develop resilience and problem solving skills.

Learning Manager Mac shows you tips and tricks for fixing Python code errors to help you build more confidence while you support your children at home.

Fixing errors in Python code

In this video, Learning Manager Mac will show you some tips and tricks for fixing Python code errors (also known as ‘debugging’) to help you build more confi…

Mac’s top tips for debugging

1. Check the instructions

If your child is following one of our online coding projects, the instructions are usually very detailed and precise. Encourage your child to read through the instructions thoroughly and see if they can spot a difference between their code and what’s in the instructions. You should find that many errors can be fixed by doing this!

2. Try, try and try again

Coding is iterative: programs are written in stages, with debugging during every stage. Errors in code are normal and very common, so mistakes in your child’s programs are to be expected. As a young person begins to develop coding skills, they start learning to problem-solve and persevere despite the errors, which will help them both on and off the computer. And the more they code, the quicker they’ll become at spotting and fixing errors.

Two kids doing digital making at home

3. Small changes make a big difference

Most of the coding problems your child will come across will be due to tiny mistakes, e.g. one letter or a piece of punctuation that needs changing. So during debugging, it’s helpful for both you and your child to frame the problem in this way: “It’s just one small thing, you are so close.” This helps them build resilience and perseverance, because finding one small error is much more achievable than thinking that the whole program is broken and they need to start over.

4. Say it out loud

When your child encounters a problem with their code, encourage them to talk you through their whole problem, without interrupting them or making suggestions. Programmers call this technique ‘rubber duck debugging’: when they encounter a problem with their code, they explain everything their code does to an inanimate object — such as a rubber duck! — to find the detail that’s causing the problem. For your child, you can play the part of the rubber duck and provide a supportive, listening ear!

Join in with Digital Making at Home

To keep young people entertained and learning, we’re running a Digital Making at Home series, which is free and accessible to everyone. New code-along videos are released every Monday, with different themes and projects for all levels of experience. We also stream live code-along sessions on Wednesdays at 14:00 BST at rpf.io/home!

a teenager doing digital making at home

Parent diary: Adapting to life online

Ben Garside is a Learning Manager at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and also a dad to three children aged between 6 and 8. Ben is currently homeschooling and working (and still smiling lots!). In this video, Ben shares his personal experience of trying to find the best way of making this work for his family, with a bit of trial and error and lots of flexibility.

Parent diary: Adapting to life online

Ben Garside is a Learning Manager at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and also a dad to three children aged between 6 and 8. Ben is currently homeschooling and wo…

Free online course: Getting Started with Your Raspberry Pi

You’ve got a Raspberry Pi computer at home and aren’t sure how to use it? Then why not sign up to our new free online course to find out all about how to set up your Raspberry Pi, and how to use it for everyday tasks or for learning to code!

Do you have feedback for us?

We’ve been asking parents what they’d like to see as part of our initiative to support young people and parents. We’ve had some great suggestions so far! If you’d like to share your thoughts, email us at [email protected].

Sign up for our bi-weekly emails, tailored to your needs

Sign up now to start receiving free activities suitable to your child’s age and experience level straight to your inbox. And let us know what you as a parent or guardian need help with, and what you’d like more or less of from us.

 

PS All of our resources are completely free. This is made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organisations. Learn how you can help too!

The post Learn at home #3: building resilience and problem solving skills appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Learn at home: a guide for parents #2

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/digital-making-at-home-parents-guide-python/

With millions of schools still in lockdown, parents have been telling us that they need help to support their children with learning computing at home. As well as providing loads of great content for young people, we’ve been working on support tutorials specifically for parents who want to understand and learn about the programmes used in schools and our resources.

If you don’t know your Scratch from your Trinket and your Python, we’ve got you!

Glen, Web Developer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Maddie, aged 8

 

What are Python and Trinket all about?

In our last blog post for parents, we talked to you about Scratch, the programming language used in most primary schools. This time Mark, Youth Programmes Manager at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, takes you through how to use Trinket. Trinket is a free online platform that lets you write and run your code in any web browser. This is super useful because it means you don’t have to install any new software.

A parents’ introduction to Trinket

Sign up to our regular parents’ newsletter to receive regular, FREE tutorials, tips & fun projects for young people of all levels of experience: http://rpf.i…

Trinket also lets you create public web pages and projects that can be viewed by anyone with the link to them. That means your child can easily share their coding creation with others, and for you that’s a good opportunity to talk to them about staying safe online and not sharing any personal information.

Lincoln, aged 10

Getting to know Python

We’ve also got an introduction to Python for you, from Mac, a Learning Manager on our team. He’ll guide you through what to expect from Python, which is a widely used text-based programming language. For many learners, Python is their first text-based language, because it’s very readable, and you can get things done with fewer lines of code than in many other programming languages. In addition, Python has support for ‘Turtle’ graphics and other features that make coding more fun and colourful for learners. Turtle is simply a Python feature that works like a drawing board, letting you control a turtle to draw anything you like using code.

A parents’ introduction to Python

Sign up to our regular parents’ newsletter to receive regular, FREE tutorials, tips & fun projects for young people of all levels of experience: http://rpf.i…

Why not try out Mac’s suggestions of Hello world, Countdown timer, and Outfit recommender for  yourself?

Python is used in lots of real-world software applications in industries such as aerospace, retail banking, insurance and healthcare, so it’s very useful for your children to learn it!

Parent diary: juggling homeschooling and work

Olympia is Head of Youth Programmes at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and also a mum to two girls aged 9 and 11. She is currently homeschooling them as well as working (and hopefully having the odd evening to herself!). Olympia shares her own experience of learning during lockdown and how her family are adapting to their new routine.

Parent diary: Juggling homeschooling and work

Olympia Brown, Head of Youth Partnerships at the Raspberry Pi Foundation shares her experience of homeschooling during the lockdown, and how her family are a…

Digital Making at Home

To keep young people entertained and learning, we launched our Digital Making at Home series, which is free and accessible to everyone. New code-along videos are released every Monday, with different themes and projects for all levels of experience.

Code along live with the team on Wednesday 6 May at 14:00 BST / 9:00 EDT for a special session of Digital Making at Home

Sarah and Ozzy, aged 13

We want your feedback

We’ve been asking parents what they’d like to see as part of our initiative to support young people and parents. We’ve had some great suggestions so far! If you’d like to share your thoughts, you can email us at [email protected].

Sign up for our bi-weekly emails, tailored to your needs

Sign up now to start receiving free activities suitable to your child’s age and experience level, straight to your inbox. And let us know what you as a parent or guardian need help with, and what you’d like more or less of from us. 

PS: All of our resources are completely free. This is made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organisations. Learn how you can help too!

 

The post Learn at home: a guide for parents #2 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Digital making at home: a guide for parents

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/digital-making-at-home-parents-guide/

This blog post is for parents. Specifically, it’s for parents who want to help their kids get into making things with technology but don’t know where to start.

Lots of us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation are parents too, and right now we’re also all trying to figure out how to keep our kids occupied, entertained, and learning useful things. So we recognise that families are currently facing lots of challenges, which is why we’re supporting parents and carers with learning for young people at home.

We already provide loads of resources and activities that are available for free, online, in up to 30 languages, and we’ll help you get your children set up and started.

A young person having fun with digital making at home

You don’t need any coding experience to get involved

All of our online projects for young people are completely free. They include step-by-step instructions and are easily filtered by level and topic. The projects are designed so that young people can complete them in no more than an hour.

You don’t need any coding experience yourself. The step-by-step instructions mean you can learn alongside your child, or, as long as they can read the instructions themselves, they can work independently on the projects.

A teenager having fun with digital making at home

Watch our support tutorials 

If you’re wondering where to start, or how digital making can work for your young people at home, take a look at our introduction video by Mark, our Youth Programmes Manager. He tells you about Scratch, a free graphical programming language developed by our friends at the Scratch Foundation (plus, it’s the language used to teach computing in most primary schools and a great place to start for beginners):

A parents’ introduction to the programming language Scratch

Find out more about the #RaspberryPi Foundation: Raspberry Pi http://rpf.io/ytrpi Code Club UK http://rpf.io/ytccuk Code Club International http://rpf.io/ytc…

He also takes you through our project site, which is where all the fun stuff happens:

How to use the Raspberry Pi projects site

Find out more about the #RaspberryPi Foundation: Raspberry Pi http://rpf.io/ytrpi Code Club UK http://rpf.io/ytccuk Code Club International http://rpf.io/ytc…

The Digital Making at Home initiative

We’re also offering a series of free weekly, instructor-led videos called Digital Making at Home, which have code-along instructions to help young people with fun projects they can do independently at home. Here’s more information about how you and your family can get involved.

Get involved in Digital Making at Home

Find out more about the #RaspberryPi Foundation: Raspberry Pi http://rpf.io/ytrpi Code Club UK http://rpf.io/ytccuk Code Club International http://rpf.io/ytc…

Sign up for our free content tailored to your needs

Sign up now to start receiving free activities suitable to your child’s age and ability straight to your inbox. And let us know what you as a parent or carer need help with, and what you’d like more or less of.

A child having fun with digital making at home using a tablet

What parents and carers say

“I started to try coding activities with my kids a few years ago (now aged 8 and 11). They really like the clear instructions from the Raspberry Pi projects site, it has helped build their confidence particularly when getting started. Their interest in coding has gone up and down over that time, but when I sense that they are losing interest I try to step back and not push it. They like coding simple games particularly, and changing the rules to make it easier for them to win!” Olympia, parent and Head of Youth Partnerships at the Raspberry Pi Foundation 

A girl with her Scratch project

“Finding independent activities is really hard – especially good ones that are also educational. Once we were up and running, Dylan (age 9) was able to follow the step-by-step video and make a game in Scratch by himself!”  Dan, step-parent 

A child having fun with digital making at home using a Crumble controller

“My younger daughter is on the autistic spectrum and really enjoys creating projects which appeal to her particular interests. So we often modify Scratch projects so that she can use different images or add in different sounds. Shifting the focus to things she particularly enjoys means that when we hit a bug, she is more motivated to persevere, fix it, and celebrate her success. Taking a child-centred approach is important for lots of children who want to be in control of their own learning journey.” Katharine, parent and Programme Coordinator at the Raspberry Pi Foundation 

“I introduced my son to coding in Scratch when he was 6. At the start, it was important to sit with him as he worked through little projects. I kept my hands away from his mouse and keyboard and let him explore the interface, with a bit of gentle guidance. Within no time he was independently creating his own projects, and using Scratch for his school work and home life. He even created a random Karate moves generator to help him prepare for a Karate grading. Eventually he wanted to move on though, and when Scratch became too limited we explored some HTML and CSS, and then a little Python. He’s now fully independent, and coding 3D games using Unity. It’s got to the point where he’s using a language that I have no experience with, so debugging just involves me asking him to explain his code and helping him to find solutions online.” Marc Scott, Parent and Senior Learning Manager at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Our simple top tips (from Marc, Senior Learning Manager)

  • If possible, sit with your child and have them explain to you what they are doing. You don’t have to understand the code, but you can listen and ask questions. If they talk through their thought process, they’re more likely to be successful.
  • Maintain a hands-off approach: offer them suggestions rather than instructions, and keep your hands off their keyboard and mouse.
  • Getting things wrong is one of the best ways to learn. When they encounter bugs in their programs (which they will!), ask questions before giving answers. Try “Why do you think that didn’t work? or “Have you tried changing this bit of code?”
  • Pick tools that are accessible or familiar to the young person. If they like Scratch, then stick with it until they’re trying to do things so complicated that they need more advanced software.
  • If a young person is going to share their project online, you should remind them not to include personal information in it. Tip: Your child has probably learned about e-safety at school, so why not ask them about the rules they’ve learned in class?
  • Always ask the young person to show you what they have made, and show enthusiasm for their work. You may not have a clue what it is, or you might think it’s super simple, but they’ll be proud of it and encouraged if you are too!

PS: All of our resources are completely free. This is made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organisations. Learn how you can help too!

The post Digital making at home: a guide for parents appeared first on Raspberry Pi.