Tag Archives: CoderDojo

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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The Raspberry Pi Build HAT and LEGO® components at our CoderDojo

Post Syndicated from Mark Calleja original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-build-hat-lego-education-robotics-coderdojo/

As so many CoderDojos around the world, our office-based CoderDojo hadn’t been able to bring learners together in person since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. So we decided that our first time back in the Raspberry Pi Foundation headquarters should be something special. Having literally just launched the new Raspberry Pi Build HAT for programming LEGO® projects with Raspberry Pi computers, we wanted to celebrate our Dojo’s triumphant return to in-person session by offering a ‘LEGO bricks and Raspberry Pi’ activity!

A robot buggy built by young people with LEGO bricks and the Raspberry Pi Build HAT.

Back in person, with new ways to create with code

The Raspberry Pi Build HAT allows learners to build and program projects with Raspberry Pi computers and LEGO® Technic™ motors and sensors from the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Portfolio.

A close-up of the Raspberry Pi Build HAT on a Maker Plate and connected to electronic components.

What better way could there be to get the more experienced coders among our Dojo’s young people (Ninjas) properly excited to be back? We knew they were fond of building things with LEGO bricks, as so many young people are, so we were sure they would have great fun with this activity!

Two girls work together on a coding project.

For our beginners, we set up Raspberry Pi workstations and got them coding the projects on the Home island on our brand-new Code Club World platform, which they absolutely loved, so their jealousy was mitigated somewhat. 

Being able to rely on your learners’ existing skills in making the physical build leaves you a lot more time to support them with what they’re actually here to learn: the coding and digital making skills.

We wanted to keep our first Dojo back small, so for the ‘LEGO bricks and Raspberry Pi’ activity, we set up just four workstations, each with a Raspberry Pi 4, with 4GB RAM and a Raspberry Pi Build HAT on top, and a LEGO Education SPIKE Prime set. We put eight participants into teams of two, and made sure that all of them brought a little experience with text-based coding, because we wanted them to be able to focus on making projects in their own style, rather than first learning the basics of coding in Python. Then we offered our Ninjas the choice of the first two projects in the Introduction to the Raspberry Pi Build HAT and LEGO path: make Pong game controllers, or make a remote-controlled robot buggy. As I had predicted, all the teams chose to make a robot buggy!

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Teamwork and design

The teams of Ninjas were immediately off and making — in fact, they couldn’t wait to get the lids off the boxes of brightly coloured bricks and beams!

Two young people work as a team at a CoderDojo coding club.

Our project instructions focus primarily on supporting learners through coding and testing the mechanics of their creations, leaving the design and build totally up to them. This was evidenced by the variety of buggy designs we saw at the project showcase at the end of the two-hour Dojo session!

One of the amazing things Raspberry Pi makes possible when you use it with the Raspberry Pi Build HAT and SPIKE™ Prime set: it’s simple to make the Raspberry Pi at the heart of the creation talk to a mobile device via Bluetooth, and off you go controlling what you’ve created via a phone or tablet.

While beginner-friendly, the projects in the Introduction path involve a mix of coding, testing, designing, and building. So it required focus and solid teamwork for the Ninjas to finish their buggies in time for the project showcase. And this is where building with LEGO pieces was really helpful.

Coding front and centre, thanks to the Raspberry Pi Build HAT

Having LEGO bricks and the Build HAT available to create their Raspberry Pi–powered robot buggies made it easy for our Ninjas to focus on writing the code to get their buggies to work. They weren’t relying on crafting skills or duct tape and glue guns to make a chassis in the relatively short time they had, and the coding could be front and centre for them.

The most exciting part for the Ninjas was that they were building remote-controlled robot buggies. This is one of the amazing things Raspberry Pi makes possible when you use it with the Build HAT and SPIKE™ Prime set: it’s simple to make the Raspberry Pi at the heart of the creation talk to a mobile device via Bluetooth, and off you go controlling what you’ve created via a phone or tablet.

The LEGO Technic motors that are part of the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime set are of really high quality, and they’re super easy to program with the Build HAT and its Python library! You can change the motors’ speed by setting a single parameter in your code. You can also easily write code to set or read the motors’ exact angle (their absolute position). That allows you to finely control the motors’ movements, or to use them as sensors.

Some of our teams, inspired by everything the SPIKE Prime set has to offer, tried out programming the set’s sensors, to switch their robot buggy on or help it avoid obstacles. Because we only had about 90 minutes of digital making, not all teams managed to finish adding the extra features they wanted — but next time for sure!

A young person programs a robot buggy built with LEGO bricks and the Raspberry Pi Build HAT.

With a little more time (or another Dojo session), it would have been possible for the Ninjas to make some very advanced remote-controlled buggies indeed, complete with headlights, brake lights, sensors, and sound.

Learning with LEGO® elements and Raspberry Pi computers

If you have access to LEGO Education SPIKE Prime sets for your learners, then the Raspberry Pi Build HAT is a great addition that allows them to build complex robotics projects with very simple code — but I think that’s not its main benefit.

A robot buggy built by young people with LEGO bricks and the Raspberry Pi Build HAT.

Because the Build HAT allows your learners to work with LEGO elements, you know that many of them already understand one aspect of the creation process: they’ve got experience of using LEGO bricks to solve a problem. In a coding or STEM club session, or in a classroom lesson, you can only give your learners limited amount of time to complete a project, or get their project prototype to a stable point. So being able to rely on your learners’ existing skills in making the physical build leaves you a lot more time to support them with what they’re actually here to learn: the coding and digital making skills.

You and your young people next!

The projects using the Raspberry Pi Build HATs were such a hit, we’ll be getting them and the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime sets out at every Dojo session from now on! We’re excited to see what young people around the world will be creating thanks to our new collaboration with LEGO Education.

Have you used the Raspberry Pi Build HAT with your learners or young people at home yet? Share their stories and creations in the comments here, or on social media using #BuildHAT.

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Celebrate CoderDojo’s 10th birthday with us!

Post Syndicated from Zoë Kinstone original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coderdojo-10th-birthday/

We are inviting you all to a very special event this week: the CoderDojo team is hosting a 10th birthday livestream to celebrate the CoderDojo community and all that they have achieved over the last ten years.

Everyone is welcome, so mark your diary and make sure you and your favourite young coders join us for all the fun at 18:00 BST this Thursday, 28 October

Together we will hear stories from young people and volunteers around the world, and from James Whelton and Bill Liao, the co-founders of CoderDojo.

Ten years of community spirit

In July 2011, James Whelton and Bill Liao held the first-ever CoderDojo session in Cork, Ireland. They created a space for young people to learn how to create a website, design a game, or write their first program. The session was also a chance for volunteers to share their experience and time with a younger generation and their peers. It was here that the CoderDojo grassroots community came into existence, built on the values of ‘being cool’: creativity, collaboration, openness, and fun.

A Dojo session in Ireland.

These values continue to inspire young people (Ninjas) and volunteers around the world to be part of their local Dojos. In 2017, the CoderDojo Foundation, which was founded to support the CoderDojo movement, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation joined forces to better support the community to bring opportunities to more young people worldwide.

A man helps four young people to code projects at laptops in a CoderDojo session.
A Dojo session in Uganda.

The tenth year of the movement is an especially important time for us to celebrate the volunteers who have put so much into CoderDojo. As well as the livestream celebration on 28 October, the CoderDojo team has put together free digital assets to get volunteers and Ninjas in the birthday spirit, and a special birthday giveaway for Ninjas who are coding projects to mark this momentous anniversary.

Three young people learn coding at laptops supported by a volunteer at a CoderDojo session.
A CoderDojo session in India.

Ten things we love about you

In celebration of the CoderDojo movement’s 10th birthday, here’s a list of some of our favourite things about the CoderDojo community.  

1. You are always having so much fun!

Whether you’re working together in person or online, you are always having a blast!

2. You are resilient and committed to your club 

The pandemic has been an extremely difficult time for Dojos. It has also been a time of adaptation. We have been so impressed by how community members have switched their ways of running with positivity and commitment to 6. do what is best for their clubs.

A tweet about CoderDojo.

3. You support each other

Every day, Dojo volunteers support each other locally and globally to sustain the movement and help Ninjas learn — from sharing how they run sessions when social distancing is necessary, to translating online resources and web pages so that more people around the world can join the CoderDojo community.

“We know that we’re not out there alone, that there’s a whole world of people who are all collaborating with the same mission in mind is really thrilling as well.”

Nikole Vaughn, CoderDojo Collaborative in San Antonio, Texas

4. You tell the team how to support you 

Filling in surveys, emailing the CoderDojo team here, attending webinars, sharing your insights — these are all the ways you’re great at communicating your Dojo’s needs. We love supporting you!

5. You help young people create positive change in their community 

We love to hear about how CoderDojo volunteers help young people to create and learn with technology, and to become mentors for their peers. Recently we shared the stories of Avye, Laura, and Toshan, three incredible digital makers who, thanks to CoderDojo, are using technology to shape the world around them.

Laura, teenage roboticist and CoderDojo Ninja, with and-Catherine Grace Coleman.
Laura says, “I joined my local CoderDojo, and it changed my life.”

6. You love a challenge

From coding for the CoderDojo 10th birthday giveaway to the European Astro Pi Challenge, CoderDojo members love to put themselves to the test!   

7. You brought Coolest Projects into the world 

Coolest Projects is the world-leading technology fair for young people, and it originated in the CoderDojo community!

The crowd at a Coolest Projects event.

This year, in its ninth year running, Coolest Projects again was a platform for fantastic tech projects from Ninjas, including an AI bicycle app and a glove that makes music.

8. You are committed to creating inclusive spaces 

CoderDojo is a space for everyone to create and learn with technology. We love that Dojos get involved in projects such as the ‘Empowering the future’ guide to getting more girls involved in coding, and the CoderDojo Accessibility Guide to making Dojo sessions accessible for young people of all abilities and neurodiversity.

A tweet about CoderDojo.

9. You are a community that continues to grow stronger

Over the last ten years, more than 3900 Dojos in 115 countries have run sessions for over 270000 young people and have been regularly supporting 100000 young coders! You’ve certainly brought the movement a long way from that very first session in Cork.   

10. You are simply the best grassroots community on the planet! 

All the volunteers who have put their time and energy into CoderDojo have made the movement what it is today, and we’d like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you.

A clip of David Bowie pointing at the viewer and saying 'you', with overlayed text 'you're the best'.

Let’s celebrate together! 

So prepare your favourite celebratory food and join us for the birthday livestream on Thursday 28 October at 18:00 BST! Take this chance to say hi to community members and celebrate everything that they have achieved in the last ten years.

Set a reminder for the livestream, and tell us how you are celebrating CoderDojo’s 10th birthday using the hashtag #10YearsOfCoderDojo on Twitter. 

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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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Real role models for International Women’s Day 2019

Post Syndicated from Maria Quevedo original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/real-role-models-international-womens-day-2019/

The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission is to bring computing and digital making to everyone. Tackling the persistent gender imbalance in technology is a crucial part of this undertaking. As part of our work to increase the number of girls choosing to learn how to create with technology, we are marking International Women’s Day with a celebration of real role models.

Real role models for International Women’s Day 2019

Maria Quevedo, Managing Director, Code Club & Raspberry Pi Foundation, talks about the importance of real role models who show girls and women that computing

Real role models are important

There is strong evidence to indicate that the presence of role models is a very effective way to inspire women and minorities to become interested in subjects and industries where they are underrepresented. Research suggests that the imbalance among the role models that girls and women are exposed to in their everyday lives contributes significantly to the persistently low number of girls pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school, and ultimately impacts their career choices.

A women and a young girl sit side by side. They are concentrating on a screen connected to a Raspberry Pi and smiling widely

Female role models in UK media

In order to understand the extent of this imbalance, we carried out an analysis to explore the visibility of female technology role models in the UK media.

One of our most striking findings was that in the twelve months since International Women’s Day 2018, each of the women competing in UK television’s Love Island 2018 was written about in the UK media on average seven times more often than 50 of the UK’s top female technology role models. And popular UK men’s lifestyle magazines were twice as likely to write about top female technology leaders than magazines aimed at women.

The cover of HackSpace magazine issue 11, with a "BEST MAKER HARDWARE" feature and photos of maker Alex Glow with her robot owl
A page from a magazine with the headline "Meet The Maker: Rachel 'Konichiwakitty' Wong" and a photograph of Rachel smiling and wearing LED kitty ears
Part of a magazine spread with the header "This Month in Raspberry Pi". There are lots of photos of makers, speakers and guests at World Maker Faire New York, most of them women, along with varied colourful projects
HackSpace magazine issue 5 cover, featuring Limor "Ladyada" Fried

We also looked at the subject matter covered by popular women’s and men’s magazines in the UK. We found that fashion (37% of all articles) and beauty (26%) were the most popular topics in women’s lifestyle media, while politics (5%) and careers (4%) were some of the least popular. The contrast with men’s lifestyle media was very pronounced. There, topic coverage was much more evenly distributed: fashion (21%) and politics (16%) came top, with grooming (12%) and careers (12%) close behind.

In other words, in the women’s lifestyle magazines, about 14 articles are written about fashion and beauty for every one about careers. Men’s lifestyle magazines, meanwhile, publish one careers piece for every three fashion and grooming articles.

Real role models in Code Club, CoderDojo, and beyond

It’s alarming to see such a dramatic imbalance in visibility for female technology leaders, and such stark differences between the focus of women’s and men’s media. We work hard to make sure our activities such as Code Club and CoderDojo are equally welcoming to girls and boys, and we’re proud that 45% of the volunteers and educators who run these clubs are women. However, role models in wider society are just as important in shaping the values, beliefs, and ambitions of girls and women.

We have a consistently high proportion of girls – around 40% – attending our Code Clubs and CoderDojos. But girls’ perceptions of computing, and their confidence, can be influenced hugely before they ever arrive at our clubs to give it a try – so much so that they may never arrive at all.

In this context, the differences we observed between the topics that women’s and men’s media cover are troubling. It really comes down to balance: there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading about fashion or beauty, but greater diversity in the women, interests, and careers that saturate our popular culture would undoubtedly impact the gender imbalance that persists in sectors such as technology and science.

We are for everyone

When it comes to encouraging girls to take part in our digital skills activities, our approach is highly adaptable, but ultimately we are for everyone. We believe this inclusive approach is the most effective way of reinforcing that all genders are equally capable of enjoying and excelling at computing. It would be invaluable to see this reflected in popular culture.

This International Women’s Day, we’re encouraging women to consider the ways in which we are real role models. Join us to celebrate the #RealRoleModels who inspire you, and share the fantastic contributions of girls and women in technology.

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Scratch 3, and upgrading our free resources

Post Syndicated from Martin O'Hanlon original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/scratch-3-resource-upgrades/

On 2 January, MIT released the latest version of their incredible visual programming language: Scratch 3!

Screenshot of Scratch 3 interface

Scratch 3 is here

We love Scratch — it’s the perfect starting point for young people who want to try coding, and we’re offering a huge variety of free Scratch project guides for all interests and coding abilities.

Scratch 3 introduces a brand-new look and feel. The most obvious change is that the stage is now on the right-hand side; there are new paint and sound editing tools; new types of code blocks; and the blocks are now larger and easier to read.

To help you and your young learners navigate the new Scratch 3 interface, we’ve created a free, printable Scratch 3 poster:

Scratch 3 interface with annotations

Perhaps the biggest news is that Scratch 3 also works on tablets, opening up coding to many children who don’t have access to a computer.

We’ve upgraded!

We want to make this a smooth transition for all of you who rely on our free project resources, whether that be at a Code Club, CoderDojo, Raspberry Jam, or at home, so we’ve been busy upgrading our resources to work with Scratch 3.

Scratch 3 versions of all projects in the Code Club Scratch Modules 1–3 and the CoderDojo Scratch Sushi Cards are already live!

Screenshot of Scratch 3 project on Raspberry Pi projects site

The upgrading process also was a chance for us to review our resources to make sure they are the best they can be; as part of this, we’ve introduced a number of improvements, such as simplified layouts, better hints, and better print-outs.

And we know that for many people, starting to use Scratch 3 is not simple, or not even possible yet, so we are committed to providing support for both Scratch 2 and 3 for the next 12 months.

We are really pleased with how our newly polished Scratch projects turned out, and we hope you are too!

What’s to come

Over the coming months, we’ll update the rest of our Scratch projects. Meanwhile, our amazing volunteer translators will begin the process of translating the upgraded projects.

Raspberry Pi projects site

Brand-new projects that take advantage of some of Scratch 3’s new features are also in the pipeline!

Scratch 3 on Pi

Another reason for ensuring we support both Scratch 2 and 3 is that, at the moment, there is no offline, installable version of Scratch 3 for Raspberry Pi. Rest assured that this is something we are working on!

The creation of Scratch 3 for Raspberry Pi will be a two-step process: first we’ll support MIT with their optimisation of Scratch 3 to make sure it delivers the best performance possible on a range of devices; once that work is complete, we’ll create an offline build of Scratch 3 for Raspberry Pi, including new extensions for the GPIO pins and the Sense HAT.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook, as we’ll be announcing more information on this in the coming months!

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Take part in Hour of Code 2018

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hour-of-code-2018/

Every year for the last five years, Hour of Code has encouraged school students to spend just one hour writing some code, in the hope that they get bitten by the bug rather than generating too many bugs! This year, you can find activities from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Code Club, and CoderDojo on the official Hour of Code website.

Boat race

Boat race, a Code Club resource, is a one-hour project aimed at beginners. It guides students to use Scratch to create a game in which the player uses their mouse to navigate a boat to a desert island without bumping into obstacles.

Scratch can run in any browser, or directly from a Raspberry Pi, making it on of the easiest ways for students to get into coding for the Hour of Code.

The Boat race resource is available in many languages, including Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, and Ukrainian.

Beginner Scratch Sushi Cards

Again using Scratch, this CoderDojo project walks students through how to create a fish-catching game where the player controls a shark sprite.

Astro Pi Mission Zero

In in the Mission Zero project, students write a short Python program that checks the ambient temperature onboard the International Space Station, and leaves a message for the astronauts there!

Students complete this Hour of Code challenge using the Trinket online Astro Pi simulator, and those based in an ESA Member or Associate States can submit their code to run onboard the ISS. They’ll even receive an official certificate showing where the ISS was when their code ran.

A full list of ESA Member and Associate States can be found here.

Us too!

We don’t just create activities for other people to experience digital making and learning — we also get involved ourselves! Every month we host a maker day for our staff, where everyone can try out our digital making projects or even work on their own project. Our December maker day is during Hour of Code week, and we are going to make an extra-special effort and try to get as many staff members as possible coding!

The educators at Raspberry Pi are fans of Seymour Papert’s constructionist learning philosophy — you can read his Mindstorms book in this free PDF — and the joy of learning through making isn’t just a thing for kids; adults get just as much positivity out of creating digital fart noises or animating crazed chickens to chase the Scratch cat. With the right support from our wide range of projects, anyone can make their own ideas a reality through coding — Senior Learning Manager Lauren, for example, got very excited about her Morrissey haiku project!

Being able to code is creative; it lets you bring your idea to life, whether that’s something that could help millions of people or simply something you think would be cool.

So, whether you’re an absolute beginner to coding or you’ve fixed so many bugs that your nickname is ‘The Exterminator’, what will YOU code this week?

The post Take part in Hour of Code 2018 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Celebrating European Code Week with our annual EUDojo

Post Syndicated from Sinead Gleeson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/annual-eudojo-2018/

On Wednesday 17 October, CoderDojo held the sixth annual EUDojo in the European Parliament in Brussels.

EUDojo 2018

EUDojo 2018

Since last year’s event, CoderDojo has grown significantly: we have almost 500 new Dojos, and our network now spreads to over 100 countries! We organised this year’s EUDojo to coincided with the annual Europe Code Week — also in its sixth year.

Our event was co-hosted by MEP Seán Kelly and the EPP party, and it was attended by MEPs from over ten European countries. The other attendees were Dojo volunteers and parents from across Europe, along with more than 40 young coders!

EUDojo 2018

These young people travelled to the EU Parliament from Italy, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Romania, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland to showcase their coding and technology skills. The kids presented technology projects they had created to the MEPs and sponsors, and they also taught MEPs to write their first lines of code!

Irish MEP Seán Kelly opened EUDojo and spoke of the pride he felt working with CoderDojo on such a special event. During the coding session, the young coders taught MEPs how to create a basic game using Scratch, and showed them how to build a website using HTML and CSS. Participants also learned how to program micro:bits, which created a fantastic buzz amongst the MEPs and their young tutors.

Coding projects to impress the MEPs

The CoderDojo youths made great use of this opportunity to showcase projects that they have made in their local Dojos for the politicians and sponsors.

Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria showed off a Scratch game she had built to test players’ agility skills, taking inspiration from river crossing puzzles.

EUDojo 2018 - Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria

Nadezhda from the Sofia Dojo in Bulgaria

Lucy Brennan and Caragh Bolger from the Waterford Dojo in Ireland presented two very different projects. Lucy demonstrated Piano Pal, a project she created to help people learn and practice to play the piano. Caragh Bolger presented her project How to make the world a better place, which is about the little things that make the world better.

EUDojo 2018

Lucy Brennan and Caragh Bolger from the Waterford Dojo in Ireland

Edward from Harrogate Dojo, UK, presented his project for encrypting and decrypting files in C++ .

EUDojo 2018 - Edward from the Harrogate Dojo

Edward from the Harrogate Dojo

Innovators of the future

Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet discussed the importance of digital skills, highlighting the importance of encouraging girls to get involved. He noted that he was delighted to see just as many girls coding at EUDojo as boys, and that he was looking forward to sharing photos from the day with his daughter to encourage her too.

EUDojo 2018 - Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet

Cabinet member Manuel Mateo Goyet

Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director, discussed their approach to training, lifelong learning, and building partnerships, and explained why EUDojo sponsor SAP decided to help spread coding skills around the world.

EUDojo 2018 - Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director

Karolina Telejko, SAP’s EU Government Relations Director

Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global spoke about social innovation and how it is promoted by CoderDojo’s Future Makers Bento Box resources for young coders. He challenged young people around the world to find a social issue they care about and design a solution to it using technology.

EUDojo 2018 - Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global

Derk Oldenburg of Liberty Global

Giving young people the space to become inventors

Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation, hopes that this event will drive more organisations and public services to invest in young people’s technology skills.

“We are delighted to be co-hosting EU Dojo, the flagship CoderDojo Europe Code Week event, for the sixth year running. This event was made possible thanks to our partners Liberty Global and SAP, and the team at MEP Sean Kelly’s office. At this year’s event, we are marking the work of libraries and the significant contribution they make to the CoderDojo movement.”

EUDojo 2018 - Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation

Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation

“Today, as always, I was incredibly impressed by the young people’s projects. All of these projects had one thing in common: they were made using creativity! Learning how to code gives young people the opportunity to express themselves and develop their skills. I hope that, as a result of today, more library groups will be inspired to join the CoderDojo movement, and use their space to give more young people the opportunity to code, create, and learn about technology!”

Learn more about CoderDojo

If you’d like to find out more about CoderDojo, from their to starting a Dojo in your local area, visit the CoderDojo website. You can also sign up for our free three-week online training course, and learn everything you need to start a Dojo and help enable young people worldwide to create and explore technology together:

Start a CoderDojo || free online learning || Raspberry Pi Foundation

Get support and advice on how to grow your confidence in coding and start a CoderDojo for young people in your area.

The post Celebrating European Code Week with our annual EUDojo appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Hang out with Raspberry Pi this month in California, New York, and Boston

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-california-new-york-boston/

This month sees two wonderful events where you can meet the Raspberry Pi team, both taking place on the weekend of September 22 and 23 in the USA.

And for more impromptu fun, you can also hang out with our Social Media Editor and fellow Pi enthusiasts on the East Coast on September 24–28.

Coolest Projects North America

In the Discovery Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, California, team members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation North America, CoderDojo, and Code Club will be celebrating the next generation of young makers at Coolest Projects North America.

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we are bringing Coolest Projects to North America for a spectacular event!

While project submissions for the event are now closed, you can still get the last FREE tickets to attend this showcase on Sunday, September 23.

To get your free tickets, click here. And for more information on the event, visit the Coolest Projects North America homepage.

World Maker Faire New York

For those on the east side of the continent at World Maker Faire New York, we’ll have representation in the form of Alex, our Social Media Editor.

The East Coast’s largest celebration of invention, creativity, and curiosity showcases the very best of the global Maker Movement. Get immersed in hundreds of projects and multiple stages focused on making for social good, health, technology, electronics, 3D printing & fabrication, food, robotics, art and more!

Alex will be adorned in Raspberry Pi stickers while exploring the cornucopia of incredible projects on show. She’ll be joined by Raspberry Pi’s videographer Brian, and they’ll gather footage of Raspberry Pis being used across the event for videos like this one from last year’s World Maker Faire:

Raspberry Pi Coffee Robot || Mugsy || Maker Faire NY ’17

Labelled ‘the world’s first hackable, customisable, dead simple, robotic coffee maker’, and powered by a Raspberry Pi, Mugsy allows you to take control of every aspect of the coffee-making process: from grind size and water temperature, to brew and bloom time.

So if you’re planning to attend World Maker Faire, either as a registered exhibitor or an attendee showing off your most recent project, we want to know! Share your project in the comments so we can find you at the event.

A week of New York and Boston meetups

Lastly, since she’ll be in New York, Alex will be out and about after MFNY, meeting up with members of the Raspberry Pi community. If you’d be game for a Raspberry Pi-cnic in Central Park, Coffee and Pi in a cafe, or any other semi-impromptu meetup in the city, let us know the best days for you between Monday, September 24 to Thursday, September 27! Alex will organise some fun gatherings in the Big Apple.

You can also join her in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday, September 28, where Alex will again be looking to meet up with makers and Pi enthusiasts — let us know if you’re game!

This is weird

Does anyone else think it’s weird that I’ve been referring to myself in the third person throughout this post?

The post Hang out with Raspberry Pi this month in California, New York, and Boston appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Happy 7th birthday, CoderDojo!

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coderdojo-7th-birthday/

What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo is a global network of free informal clubs for young people aged 7-17 to learn how to code and create with technology. There are more than 1400 active Dojos in 75 countries, regularly attended by 40000 young people.

Happy birthday, CoderDojo 🎂

Seven years ago today, on 23 July, James Whelton and Bill Liao held the first-ever CoderDojo session in Cork, Ireland. When that first group of volunteers and young people (Ninjas) came together to learn how to make a website, design a game, or write their first program, they never imagined how far the CoderDojo movement would go. But the message of CoderDojo and its values of openness, inclusivity, creativity, and community have resonated with many thousands of people and continue to encourage them to get involved to learn and to volunteer.

CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

Founders of CoderDojo James Whelton and Bill Liao

Going global in 95 countries

Since that first Dojo session, the movement has become truly global: there are now more than 1900 Dojos in 95 countries around the world. And not only CoderDojo clubs have developed, but also a fantastic, welcoming, worldwide community of volunteers, and a foundation that provides it with support and resources and is part of the Raspberry Pi family.
CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

Sharing the community spirit

As if running and growing the network of Dojos wasn’t enough, our community also runs wonderful events: CoderDojo volunteers started the Coolest Projects showcase in 2012 as a way for Ninjas to come together and share the projects they have created.

Celebrating Coolest Projects International 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs from across the globe.

This year, more than 1000 young coders showcased what they have built at the international Coolest Projects event in Dublin, with regional events taking place in Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, the UK and, in two months’ time, in North America.

Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo

Passionate CoderDojo community members also saw the importance of meeting each other and sharing experiences of running their Dojos, so they decided to create an event to bring community members together: DojoCon gives volunteers from around the world the opportunity to gather in person, make friends, and learn from each other to better run and develop their Dojos. Regional DojoCons have been held in Toscana (Italy), Perth (Australia), and Osaka (Japan), along with numerous smaller mentor meetups that offer more localised support and friendships.

And MegaDojos have enabled groups of hundreds of young people to meet up for a day and code together, also providing the chance for newcomers to get involved and try a variety of technologies.

Forming regional bodies

In regions where the concentration of Dojos and the drive to create more clubs are high, CoderDojo community members have formed regional bodies to provide focused support for growth.

“We are located in a city in Italy hit by the earthquake in 2016. We do not have a lot of places to meet. But every month, with a lot of work, we organize a CoderDojo, and the happiness in the children’s eyes is all we need!” – Dojo champion, Macerata, Italy

This highlights the grass-roots nature of the movement, and the passion that people involved have to achieve our goal of every child worldwide having the opportunity to learn to code and to be creative with technology in a safe and social environment.

Publications and initiatives

Since 2011, community members have created and shared learning resources, and translated content at home and in organised hackathon events to help more young people learn to program. Following on from these resources developed in Dojos, two CoderDojo books have been released and translated into ten languages to help even young people in areas where Dojos haven’t cropped up develop the skills to be tech creators.

CoderDojo birthday Raspberry Pi

The CoderDojo Foundation is implementing initiatives to encourage diversity in all Dojos, such as the CoderDojo Girls Initiative, which was inspired by and shares the outstanding work that Dojo volunteers around the world already do to encourage more girls to become Ninjas and learn to code.

Award winners

Since CoderDojo began, we’ve had eight girls attending Dojos be named European Digital Girl of the Year. Ninjas have been nominated for the BAFTA Young Game Designers award and won regional robotics challenges. They’ve travelled to the European Parliament to show MEPs a thing or two about coding. Ninjas have coded in libraries, tech-hubs, nursing homes, hotels, community centres, children’s hospitals, under trees, and on buses!

Answering the call

CoderDojo has encouraged cross-collaboration and intercultural learning. For example, Ninjas in Japan made 1000 origami shuriken to share with Ninjas attending this year’s Coolest Projects International in Dublin, and young people and volunteers in Dojos in Argentina and Belgium worked together to enter the European Astro Pi Challenge. And on community calls, volunteers from different continents, who would never have the opportunity to talk to each other otherwise, ask each other questions and offer each other advice.

“CoderDojo provides Ninjas with a positive, safe space for them to exercise their brain and to work on various projects. The sense of recognition and achievement among the young people is amazing. [Where our Dojo is located] is considered a disadvantaged area with a high level of poverty, substance misuse issues, and unemployment. Having such a positive space like CoderDojo for the young people of this community is acting as a prevention factor to the issues. Our young people are continuously learning, exploring, building relationships, and increasing their chances at a better quality of life.” – Dojo mentor, North Dublin, Ireland

Over the past seven years, thousands of amazing volunteers and supporters around the world have enabled 200000 young people to be technology creators. In 2017 alone, volunteers gave an incredible 290000 hours to support Ninjas to gain the confidence and skills to create with code!

☯CoderDojo☯ on Twitter

It was amazing celebrating our 7th birthday today. Well done in particular to all the young people who attended, those who shared what they were working on with the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, to their parents/guardians, & all the volunteers for their support thoughout the day!♥

But it’s not just time they give, volunteers have contributed their enthusiasm, creativity, and love to create a generous and fun community! We would not have reached this seventh birthday without all the champions, mentors, and other volunteers who are the backbone of the CoderDojo movement, so thank you! We hope, with all your help, to continue to inspire young coders around the world.

Join the CoderDojo movement

“As the champion, the Dojo is the thing in my life I am most proud of, and that I look forward to each week. It is the most meaningful thing that I do, and seeing all the kids having a great time with their friends each week, and enjoying the learning experience, is truly fulfilling. It makes me wish I was young again to have such an opportunity to learn and be cool with all the great kids involved. It re-ignites my own passion for technology, which sometimes is easy to forget!” – Dojo champion, Kildare, Ireland

If you would like to start a fun, inclusive coding club for 7- to 17-year-olds in your local area, then find out more about setting up a Dojo here.

The post Happy 7th birthday, CoderDojo! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Bell Gardens’ Code Club is headed to Coolest Projects North America

Post Syndicated from Christina Foust original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/bell-gardens-code-club-coolest-projects/

Located outside Los Angeles, the Boys & Girls Club of Bell Gardens run after-school and summer programming for youth in the community. The club at Bell Gardens is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization of local chapters that offer after-school programs for young people. In September, their Code Club members will be heading to Coolest Projects North America to share their coding projects and connect with other young coders.

Two girls with backpacks reading about a Raspberry Pi project — Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club of Bell Gardens

At Bell Gardens’ Boys & Girls Club, activities center around healthy living and homework support, in addition to opportunities for kids to practice good character and citizenship, and to explore the arts and technology. But, as we know, rapid changes in technology mean needing to always be on the lookout for updated and kid-friendly materials. Therefore, Loren and her Boys & Girls Club team wanted to find resources that expose their kids to technology and empower them to contribute to society, to solve problems, or to simply get creative.

Code Club Bell Gardens

Loren found that Code Club, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s longest-running outreach program, has just the resources and online project platform they needed to really level up their digital tech program. Code Club resources, like all resources provided Raspberry Pi, are user-friendly, accessible, and always free.

A boy at a laptop coding in Scratch — Boys & Girls Club

Now, just two short months since their first session, the on-site Code Club at Bell Gardens has grown exponentially and become a favourite of the community. At 20 members and growing, their Code Club is composed entirely of members from the Bell Gardens community, serving kids from 6 to 15. The club runs at least once a week, and Loren hopes to run it more often due to its positive effects. She says:

I’ve seen a lot of internal and external growth in each member. I can honestly say that all the members have been impacted by the exposure to new resources and opportunities. Not only has their self-confidence improved, so have their skills in critical thinking, coding, and math.

Loren admits that the first day of Code Club started off as challenging. “Many of the youngest members faced significant learning difficulties pertaining to literacy and math. However, many of them happily surprised our staff with their ability to memorize the projects steps along with the symbols on the screen. After a two-hour session, most members were able to complete their projects without any assistance!”

Two children holding up Code Club stickers — Boys & Girls Club

The club members come from diverse backgrounds, so Loren is thoughtful about creating a team culture while supporting individual development. As a team, they focus on two objectives: passion and innovation. “Members are constantly seeking solutions to their own questions and challenges. They thrive on inspiration and motivation, which in my opinion is the finest way to be a catalyst in the technological age.”

Bell Gardens heads to Coolest Projects

With Coolest Projects North America coming in September, Bell Gardens’ Code Club members are working on projects over the summer to prepare for the big event. Loren is already looking forward to the showcase: “I am thrilled to bring our club to Coolest Projects because it’s a unique opportunity for the community! Our community has an overwhelming lack of resources, especially concerning education, so I am looking forward to introducing our members to an innovative, competitive environment, but most of all to inspire them to select a project they can feel passionate about.”

Coolest Projects North America

Coolest Projects North America will take place at the Discovery Cube, Orange County, on September 23, 2018.

Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo
Coolest Projects UK 2018 Raspberry Pi Foundation CoderDojo

All levels of coders are welcome, and all types of projects are encouraged! Find tickets to the the event, register your project, and learn about travel stipends on the Coolest Projects North America website.

The post Bell Gardens’ Code Club is headed to Coolest Projects North America appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Coolest Projects International 2018

Post Syndicated from Eben Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-international-2018/

Like many engineers, I have folder upon folder of half-completed projects on my computer. But the funny thing is that this wasn’t a problem for me as a child. Every other Friday evening, I’d spend two hours at Ilkley Computer Club, where I could show off whatever I’d been working on: nothing motivates you to actually finish a project like the opportunity to share it with an audience.




Raspberry Jams, Code Clubs, and CoderDojos all provide children (of all ages: we’re looking at you, Peter Onion) with a place where they can learn, share ideas, and make cool stuff with code and computers. But you can get so involved with the things you’re working on that you forget to take a step back every once in a while to look at what you’ve accomplished. And what do you do when you’ve shown your project to everyone you know, and you fancy a shot at a slightly larger audience?

Enter Coolest Projects International, now in its seventh year. Here’s a video that captures about 1% of the awesomeness of being there in person.

Celebrating Coolest Projects International 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we brought Coolest Projects to the UK for a spectacular regional event in London!

Coolest Projects brings Ninjas from CoderDojos across the globe together in Dublin for a chance to share their work with the world, and to compete to be coolest in one of several categories:

  • Scratch projects
  • Websites
  • Games
  • Mobile apps
  • Hardware
  • Evolution (basically, next-level stuff)

At this year’s event, more than 1000 children presented projects, from 15 countries including Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Romania, and Spain.

Raspberry Pi on Twitter

This is it! #CoolestProjects https://t.co/eoepjNWLsC

And for the first time, Coolest Projects was open to Raspberry Jam and Code Club members, and to the broader Raspberry Pi community.

Liz, our daughter Aphra, and I spent the day at the event, along with the CoderDojo team, what felt like half the Raspberry Pi Foundation, keynote speaker Pete Lomas, and the most amazing army of volunteers. Between chugging slushies, I had the opportunity to judge hardware projects with Noel King, CoderDojo volunteer and co-founder of Coolest Projects. Noel provided the judges with a pep talk at the start of the day. He reminded us that the aim wasn’t necessarily to find the most complete, or polished, or technically audacious project, but to seek out creativity: the project that does something unique, or does something you’ve seen before but in a unique way.




To my mind, the focus on creativity is what sets Coolest Projects apart. This is, after all, a contest that aims to “empower and inspire the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs”, and that recognises that each of those activities is, at heart, a creative pursuit.

Unsurprisingly, given the strength of the field, judging went on for some time. Each category’s winner and runner-up were exceptional, and there were countless other projects that didn’t quite make the cut but that I’d be proud to have made myself. Where were these folks when I was a teenager?

You can see the winners and runners up in each category on the Coolest Projects Twitter feed, and you should also check out the winners of the six special prizes. One that especially struck me was Selin Alara Ornek’s project, iC4U, a robot guide dog that she developed at her local CoderDojo in Turkey.

While Coolest Projects started in Dublin, it’s now an international phenomenon. In the last couple of months we’ve seen Coolest Projects regional events in Belgium, Romania, and the UK.

Showcasing your projects at Coolest Projects UK 2018

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. This year, for the first time, we brought Coolest Projects to the UK for a spectacular regional event in London!

In September we’ll be holding the inaugural Coolest Projects North America at the Discovery Cube in Orange County.

Coolest Projects began as a volunteer-run event, and we’re immensely privileged to have this wonderful showcase for our community. We are enormously grateful to all the staff and volunteers who continue to give huge amounts of their time, effort, and talent every year to make it the wonderful event that it is. Thank you, all of you.

Events like these give me hope that the future of our industry will be every bit as exciting, and vastly more diverse, than our past and present. If you have a chance to participate in one of them, I think you’ll come away feeling the same.

The post Coolest Projects International 2018 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Build your own weather station with our new guide!

Post Syndicated from Richard Hayler original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/build-your-own-weather-station/

One of the most common enquiries I receive at Pi Towers is “How can I get my hands on a Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station?” Now the answer is: “Why not build your own version using our guide?”

Build Your Own weather station kit assembled

Tadaaaa! The BYO weather station fully assembled.

Our Oracle Weather Station

In 2016 we sent out nearly 1000 Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station kits to schools from around the world who had applied to be part of our weather station programme. In the original kit was a special HAT that allows the Pi to collect weather data with a set of sensors.

The original Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station HAT – Build Your Own Raspberry Pi weather station

The original Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station HAT

We designed the HAT to enable students to create their own weather stations and mount them at their schools. As part of the programme, we also provide an ever-growing range of supporting resources. We’ve seen Oracle Weather Stations in great locations with a huge differences in climate, and they’ve even recorded the effects of a solar eclipse.

Our new BYO weather station guide

We only had a single batch of HATs made, and unfortunately we’ve given nearly* all the Weather Station kits away. Not only are the kits really popular, we also receive lots of questions about how to add extra sensors or how to take more precise measurements of a particular weather phenomenon. So today, to satisfy your demand for a hackable weather station, we’re launching our Build your own weather station guide!

Build Your Own Raspberry Pi weather station

Fun with meteorological experiments!

Our guide suggests the use of many of the sensors from the Oracle Weather Station kit, so can build a station that’s as close as possible to the original. As you know, the Raspberry Pi is incredibly versatile, and we’ve made it easy to hack the design in case you want to use different sensors.

Many other tutorials for Pi-powered weather stations don’t explain how the various sensors work or how to store your data. Ours goes into more detail. It shows you how to put together a breadboard prototype, it describes how to write Python code to take readings in different ways, and it guides you through recording these readings in a database.

Build Your Own Raspberry Pi weather station on a breadboard

There’s also a section on how to make your station weatherproof. And in case you want to move past the breadboard stage, we also help you with that. The guide shows you how to solder together all the components, similar to the original Oracle Weather Station HAT.

Who should try this build

We think this is a great project to tackle at home, at a STEM club, Scout group, or CoderDojo, and we’re sure that many of you will be chomping at the bit to get started. Before you do, please note that we’ve designed the build to be as straight-forward as possible, but it’s still fairly advanced both in terms of electronics and programming. You should read through the whole guide before purchasing any components.

Build Your Own Raspberry Pi weather station – components

The sensors and components we’re suggesting balance cost, accuracy, and easy of use. Depending on what you want to use your station for, you may wish to use different components. Similarly, the final soldered design in the guide may not be the most elegant, but we think it is achievable for someone with modest soldering experience and basic equipment.

You can build a functioning weather station without soldering with our guide, but the build will be more durable if you do solder it. If you’ve never tried soldering before, that’s OK: we have a Getting started with soldering resource plus video tutorial that will walk you through how it works step by step.

Prototyping HAT for Raspberry Pi weather station sensors

For those of you who are more experienced makers, there are plenty of different ways to put the final build together. We always like to hear about alternative builds, so please post your designs in the Weather Station forum.

Our plans for the guide

Our next step is publishing supplementary guides for adding extra functionality to your weather station. We’d love to hear which enhancements you would most like to see! Our current ideas under development include adding a webcam, making a tweeting weather station, adding a light/UV meter, and incorporating a lightning sensor. Let us know which of these is your favourite, or suggest your own amazing ideas in the comments!

*We do have a very small number of kits reserved for interesting projects or locations: a particularly cool experiment, a novel idea for how the Oracle Weather Station could be used, or places with specific weather phenomena. If have such a project in mind, please send a brief outline to [email protected], and we’ll consider how we might be able to help you.

The post Build your own weather station with our new guide! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Join us at the Education Summit at PyCon UK 2018

Post Syndicated from Ben Nuttall original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pycon-uk-2018/

PyCon UK 2018 will take place on Saturday 15 September to Wednesday 19 September in the splendid Cardiff City Hall, just a few miles from the Sony Technology Centre where the vast majority of Raspberry Pis is made. We’re pleased to announce that we’re curating this year’s Education Summit at the conference, where we’ll offer opportunities for young people to learn programming skills, and for educators to undertake professional development!

PyCon UK Education Summit logo

PyCon UK 2018 is your chance to be welcomed into the wonderful Python community. At the Education Summit, we’ll put on a young coders’ day on the Saturday, and an educators’ day on the Sunday.

Saturday — young coders’ day

On Saturday we’ll be running a CoderDojo full of workshops on Raspberry Pi and micro:bits for young people aged 7 to 17. If they wish, participants will get to make a project and present it to the conference on the main stage, and everyone will be given a free micro:bit to take home!

Kids’ tickets at just £6 will be available here soon.

Kids on a stage at PyCon UK

Kids presenting their projects to the conference

Sunday — educators’ day

PyCon UK has been bringing developers and educators together ever since it first started its education track in 2011. This year’s Sunday will be a day of professional development: we’ll give teachers, educators, parents, and coding club leaders the chance to learn from us and from each other to build their programming, computing, and digital making skills.

Educator workshop at PyCon UK

Professional development for educators

Educators get a special entrance rate for the conference, starting at £48 — get your tickets now. Financial assistance is also available.

Call for proposals

We invite you to send in your proposal for a talk and workshop at the Education Summit! We’re looking for:

  • 25-minute talks for the educators’ day
  • 50-minute workshops for either the young coders’ or the educators’ day

If you have something you’d like to share, such as a professional development session for educators, advice on best practice for teaching programming, a workshop for up-skilling in Python, or a fun physical computing activity for the CoderDojo, then we’d love to hear about it! Please submit your proposal by 15 June.




After the Education Summit, the conference will continue for two days of talks and a final day of development sprints. Feel free to submit your education-related talk to the main conference too if you want to share it with a wider audience! Check out the PyCon UK 2018 website for more information.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in September!

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Working with the Scout Association on digital skills for life

Post Syndicated from Philip Colligan original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/working-with-scout-association-digital-skills-for-life/

Today we’re launching a new partnership between the Scouts and the Raspberry Pi Foundation that will help tens of thousands of young people learn crucial digital skills for life. In this blog post, I want to explain what we’ve got planned, why it matters, and how you can get involved.

This is personal

First, let me tell you why this partnership matters to me. As a child growing up in North Wales in the 1980s, Scouting changed my life. My time with 2nd Rhyl provided me with countless opportunities to grow and develop new skills. It taught me about teamwork and community in ways that continue to shape my decisions today.

As my own kids (now seven and ten) have joined Scouting, I’ve seen the same opportunities opening up for them, and like so many parents, I’ve come back to the movement as a volunteer to support their local section. So this is deeply personal for me, and the same is true for many of my colleagues at the Raspberry Pi Foundation who in different ways have been part of the Scouting movement.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Scouting and Raspberry Pi share many of the same values. We are both community-led movements that aim to help young people develop the skills they need for life. We are both powered by an amazing army of volunteers who give their time to support that mission. We both care about inclusiveness, and pride ourselves on combining fun with learning by doing.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi started life in 2008 as a response to the problem that too many young people were growing up without the skills to create with technology. Our goal is that everyone should be able to harness the power of computing and digital technologies, for work, to solve problems that matter to them, and to express themselves creatively.

In 2012 we launched our first product, the world’s first $35 computer. Just six years on, we have sold over 20 million Raspberry Pi computers and helped kickstart a global movement for digital skills.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation now runs the world’s largest network of volunteer-led computing clubs (Code Clubs and CoderDojos), and creates free educational resources that are used by millions of young people all over the world to learn how to create with digital technologies. And lots of what we are able to achieve is because of partnerships with fantastic organisations that share our goals. For example, through our partnership with the European Space Agency, thousands of young people have written code that has run on two Raspberry Pi computers that Tim Peake took to the International Space Station as part of his Mission Principia.

Digital makers

Today we’re launching the new Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge to help tens of thousands of young people learn how to create with technology through Scouting. Over the past few months, we’ve been working with the Scouts all over the UK to develop and test the new badge requirements, along with guidance, project ideas, and resources that really make them work for Scouting. We know that we need to get two things right: relevance and accessibility.

Relevance is all about making sure that the activities and resources we provide are a really good fit for Scouting and Scouting’s mission to equip young people with skills for life. From the digital compass to nature cameras and the reinvented wide game, we’ve had a lot of fun thinking about ways we can bring to life the crucial role that digital technologies can play in the outdoors and adventure.

Compass Coding with Raspberry Pi

We are beyond excited to be launching a new partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which will help tens of thousands of young people learn digital skills for life.

We also know that there are great opportunities for Scouts to use digital technologies to solve social problems in their communities, reflecting the movement’s commitment to social action. Today we’re launching the first set of project ideas and resources, with many more to follow over the coming weeks and months.

Accessibility is about providing every Scout leader with the confidence, support, and kit to enable them to offer the Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge to their young people. A lot of work and care has gone into designing activities that require very little equipment: for example, activities at Stages 1 and 2 can be completed with a laptop without access to the internet. For the activities that do require kit, we will be working with Scout Stores and districts to make low-cost kit available to buy or loan.

We’re producing accessible instructions, worksheets, and videos to help leaders run sessions with confidence, and we’ll also be planning training for leaders. We will work with our network of Code Clubs and CoderDojos to connect them with local sections to organise joint activities, bringing both kit and expertise along with them.




Get involved

Today’s launch is just the start. We’ll be developing our partnership over the next few years, and we can’t wait for you to join us in getting more young people making things with technology.

Take a look at the brand-new Raspberry Pi resources designed especially for Scouts, to get young people making and creating right away.

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Hello World Issue 5: Engineering

Post Syndicated from Russell Barnes original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hello-world-issue-5/

Join us as we celebrate the Year of Engineering in the newest issue of Hello World, our magazine for computing and digital making educators.

 

Inspiring future engineers

We’ve brought together a wide range of experts to share their ideas and advice on how to bring engineering to your classroom — read issue 5 to find out the best ways to inspire the next generation.



Plus we’ve got plenty on GP and Scratch, we answer your latest questions, and we bring you our usual collection of useful features, guides, and lesson plans.

Highlights of issue 5 include:

  • The bluffers’ guide to putting together a tech-themed school trip
  • Inclusion, and coding for the visually impaired
  • Getting students interested in databases
  • Why copying may not always be a bad thing

How to get Hello World #5

Hello World is available as a free download under a Creative Commons license for everyone in world who is interested in computer science and digital making education. Get the latest issue as a PDF file straight from the Hello World website.

We’re currently offering free print copies of the magazine to serving educators in the UK. This offer is open to teachers, Code Club and CoderDojo volunteers, teaching assistants, teacher trainers, and others who help children and young people learn about computing and digital making. Subscribe to have your free print magazine posted directly to your home, or subscribe digitally — 20000 educators have already signed up to receive theirs!

Get in touch!

You could write for us about your experiences as an educator, and share your advice with the community. Wherever you are in the world, get in touch by emailing our editorial team about your article idea — we would love to hear from you!

Hello World magazine is a collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Computing At School, which is part of the British Computing Society.

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Continued: the answers to your questions for Eben Upton

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/eben-q-a-2/

Last week, we shared the first half of our Q&A with Raspberry Pi Trading CEO and Raspberry Pi creator Eben Upton. Today we follow up with all your other questions, including your expectations for a Raspberry Pi 4, Eben’s dream add-ons, and whether we really could go smaller than the Zero.

Live Q&A with Eben Upton, creator of the Raspberry Pi

Get your questions to us now using #AskRaspberryPi on Twitter

With internet security becoming more necessary, will there be automated versions of VPN on an SD card?

There are already third-party tools which turn your Raspberry Pi into a VPN endpoint. Would we do it ourselves? Like the power button, it’s one of those cases where there are a million things we could do and so it’s more efficient to let the community get on with it.

Just to give a counterexample, while we don’t generally invest in optimising for particular use cases, we did invest a bunch of money into optimising Kodi to run well on Raspberry Pi, because we found that very large numbers of people were using it. So, if we find that we get half a million people a year using a Raspberry Pi as a VPN endpoint, then we’ll probably invest money into optimising it and feature it on the website as we’ve done with Kodi. But I don’t think we’re there today.

Have you ever seen any Pis running and doing important jobs in the wild, and if so, how does it feel?

It’s amazing how often you see them driving displays, for example in radio and TV studios. Of course, it feels great. There’s something wonderful about the geographic spread as well. The Raspberry Pi desktop is quite distinctive, both in its previous incarnation with the grey background and logo, and the current one where we have Greg Annandale’s road picture.

The PIXEL desktop on Raspberry Pi

And so it’s funny when you see it in places. Somebody sent me a video of them teaching in a classroom in rural Pakistan and in the background was Greg’s picture.

Raspberry Pi 4!?!

There will be a Raspberry Pi 4, obviously. We get asked about it a lot. I’m sticking to the guidance that I gave people that they shouldn’t expect to see a Raspberry Pi 4 this year. To some extent, the opportunity to do the 3B+ was a surprise: we were surprised that we’ve been able to get 200MHz more clock speed, triple the wireless and wired throughput, and better thermals, and still stick to the $35 price point.

We’re up against the wall from a silicon perspective; we’re at the end of what you can do with the 40nm process. It’s not that you couldn’t clock the processor faster, or put a larger processor which can execute more instructions per clock in there, it’s simply about the energy consumption and the fact that you can’t dissipate the heat. So we’ve got to go to a smaller process node and that’s an order of magnitude more challenging from an engineering perspective. There’s more effort, more risk, more cost, and all of those things are challenging.

With 3B+ out of the way, we’re going to start looking at this now. For the first six months or so we’re going to be figuring out exactly what people want from a Raspberry Pi 4. We’re listening to people’s comments about what they’d like to see in a new Raspberry Pi, and I’m hoping by early autumn we should have an idea of what we want to put in it and a strategy for how we might achieve that.

Could you go smaller than the Zero?

The challenge with Zero as that we’re periphery-limited. If you run your hand around the unit, there is no edge of that board that doesn’t have something there. So the question is: “If you want to go smaller than Zero, what feature are you willing to throw out?”

It’s a single-sided board, so you could certainly halve the PCB area if you fold the circuitry and use both sides, though you’d have to lose something. You could give up some GPIO and go back to 26 pins like the first Raspberry Pi. You could give up the camera connector, you could go to micro HDMI from mini HDMI. You could remove the SD card and just do USB boot. I’m inventing a product live on air! But really, you could get down to two thirds and lose a bunch of GPIO – it’s hard to imagine you could get to half the size.

What’s the one feature that you wish you could outfit on the Raspberry Pi that isn’t cost effective at this time? Your dream feature.

Well, more memory. There are obviously technical reasons why we don’t have more memory on there, but there are also market reasons. People ask “why doesn’t the Raspberry Pi have more memory?”, and my response is typically “go and Google ‘DRAM price’”. We’re used to the price of memory going down. And currently, we’re going through a phase where this has turned around and memory is getting more expensive again.

Machine learning would be interesting. There are machine learning accelerators which would be interesting to put on a piece of hardware. But again, they are not going to be used by everyone, so according to our method of pricing what we might add to a board, machine learning gets treated like a $50 chip. But that would be lovely to do.

Which citizen science projects using the Pi have most caught your attention?

I like the wildlife camera projects. We live out in the countryside in a little village, and we’re conscious of being surrounded by nature but we don’t see a lot of it on a day-to-day basis. So I like the nature cam projects, though, to my everlasting shame, I haven’t set one up yet. There’s a range of them, from very professional products to people taking a Raspberry Pi and a camera and putting them in a plastic box. So those are good fun.

Raspberry Shake seismometer

The Raspberry Shake seismometer

And there’s Meteor Pi from the Cambridge Science Centre, that’s a lot of fun. And the seismometer Raspberry Shake – that sort of thing is really nice. We missed the recent South Wales earthquake; perhaps we should set one up at our Californian office.

How does it feel to go to bed every day knowing you’ve changed the world for the better in such a massive way?

What feels really good is that when we started this in 2006 nobody else was talking about it, but now we’re part of a very broad movement.

We were in a really bad way: we’d seen a collapse in the number of applicants applying to study Computer Science at Cambridge and elsewhere. In our view, this reflected a move away from seeing technology as ‘a thing you do’ to seeing it as a ‘thing that you have done to you’. It is problematic from the point of view of the economy, industry, and academia, but most importantly it damages the life prospects of individual children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The great thing about STEM subjects is that you can’t fake being good at them. There are a lot of industries where your Dad can get you a job based on who he knows and then you can kind of muddle along. But if your dad gets you a job building bridges and you suck at it, after the first or second bridge falls down, then you probably aren’t going to be building bridges anymore. So access to STEM education can be a great driver of social mobility.

By the time we were launching the Raspberry Pi in 2012, there was this wonderful movement going on. Code Club, for example, and CoderDojo came along. Lots of different ways of trying to solve the same problem. What feels really, really good is that we’ve been able to do this as part of an enormous community. And some parts of that community became part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation – we merged with Code Club, we merged with CoderDojo, and we continue to work alongside a lot of these other organisations. So in the two seconds it takes me to fall asleep after my face hits the pillow, that’s what I think about.

We’re currently advertising a Programme Manager role in New Delhi, India. Did you ever think that Raspberry Pi would be advertising a role like this when you were bringing together the Foundation?

No, I didn’t.

But if you told me we were going to be hiring somewhere, India probably would have been top of my list because there’s a massive IT industry in India. When we think about our interaction with emerging markets, India, in a lot of ways, is the poster child for how we would like it to work. There have already been some wonderful deployments of Raspberry Pi, for example in Kerala, without our direct involvement. And we think we’ve got something that’s useful for the Indian market. We have a product, we have clubs, we have teacher training. And we have a body of experience in how to teach people, so we have a physical commercial product as well as a charitable offering that we think are a good fit.

It’s going to be massive.

What is your favourite BBC type-in listing?

There was a game called Codename: Druid. There is a famous game called Codename: Droid which was the sequel to Stryker’s Run, which was an awesome, awesome game. And there was a type-in game called Codename: Druid, which was at the bottom end of what you would consider a commercial game.

codename druid

And I remember typing that in. And what was really cool about it was that the next month, the guy who wrote it did another article that talks about the memory map and which operating system functions used which bits of memory. So if you weren’t going to do disc access, which bits of memory could you trample on and know the operating system would survive.

babbage versus bugs Raspberry Pi annual

See the full listing for Babbage versus Bugs in the Raspberry Pi 2018 Annual

I still like type-in listings. The Raspberry Pi 2018 Annual has a type-in listing that I wrote for a Babbage versus Bugs game. I will say that’s not the last type-in listing you will see from me in the next twelve months. And if you download the PDF, you could probably copy and paste it into your favourite text editor to save yourself some time.

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Announcing Coolest Projects North America

Post Syndicated from Courtney Lentz original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-north-america/

The Raspberry Pi Foundation loves to celebrate people who use technology to solve problems and express themselves creatively, so we’re proud to expand the incredibly successful event Coolest Projects to North America. This free event will be held on Sunday 23 September 2018 at the Discovery Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, California.

Coolest Projects North America logo Raspberry Pi CoderDojo

What is Coolest Projects?

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. The event is both a competition and an exhibition to give young digital makers aged 7 to 17 a platform to celebrate their successes, creativity, and ingenuity.

showcase crowd — Coolest Projects North America

In 2012, Coolest Projects was conceived as an opportunity for CoderDojo Ninjas to showcase their work and for supporters to acknowledge these achievements. Week after week, Ninjas would meet up to work diligently on their projects, hacks, and code; however, it can be difficult for them to see their long-term progress on a project when they’re concentrating on its details on a weekly basis. Coolest Projects became a dedicated time each year for Ninjas and supporters to reflect, celebrate, and share both the achievements and challenges of the maker’s journey.

three female coolest projects attendees — Coolest Projects North America

Coolest Projects North America

Not only is Coolest Projects expanding to North America, it’s also expanding its participant pool! Members of our team have met so many amazing young people creating in all areas of the world, that it simply made sense to widen our outreach to include Code Clubs, students of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators, and members of the Raspberry Jam community at large as well as CoderDojo attendees.

 a boy showing a technology project to an old man, with a girl playing on a laptop on the floor — Coolest Projects North America

Exhibit and attend Coolest Projects

Coolest Projects is a free, family- and educator-friendly event. Young people can apply to exhibit their projects, and the general public can register to attend this one-day event. Be sure to register today, because you make Coolest Projects what it is: the coolest.

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