The last ten years at Raspberry Pi have shown me that, with the right tools and support, kids and teenagers will never stop surprising us with the things they do with computers. The possibilities are, quite literally, endless: they change kids’ lives and, no exaggeration, some of them will change the world.
This is why we work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation in their mission to give every young person the chance to tinker and explore with computers, both in and out of school. As well as providing lots of activities that kids can take part in directly, the Foundation supports high-quality computer science education in schools by delivering formal training for teachers, along with a whole raft of other work aimed at making sure that no-one who has potential has to miss out on a decent computing education.
This year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is once again joining organisations across the world in participating in Giving Tuesday: an international day of generosity. You helped us raise £16,000 for young people’s computing education during our Giving Tuesday campaign last year, and we’re asking for your help again to make an even bigger impact on young learners this year.
With the support of generous donors, volunteers, and educators, here are just a few of the ways the Raspberry Pi Foundation has changed the lives of young people in 2021 (there’s much more than we can cover here – go and check out their website):
6000 Raspberry Pi 400 kits for home learning
As the pandemic made the digital divide a shockingly urgent problem, the Raspberry Pi Foundation teamed up with UK Youth and a network of local grassroots organisations to get Raspberry Pi 400 desktop kits into the hands of students across the UK who did not have their own computers. Students also received a monitor, and they and their parents had individual support to set up their new computers and connect to the internet. So far, this project has provided 6000 kits to some of the UK’s most vulnerable young people, who have used their Raspberry Pi computers to stay connected to school. To our supporters, thank you: providing this essential equipment is just one way you’ve helped. There’s so much more we can do here, and we’re really grateful for your help.
15,000 students running their code in space
The Astro Pi Challenge lets students write computer programs that run in space. In the 2020-21 challenge, 15,000 young people took the opportunity to send their code off-world.
On 21 December — exactly three weeks from today — two new Raspberry Pi computers are due to launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft on its ISS cargo resupply mission. These new Astro Pi units have been upgraded with hardware that will expand the type of experiments students can perform.
Learn programming with LEGO and Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi and LEGO Education was a collaboration that Raspberry Pi Ltd and the Raspberry Pi Foundation just had to make happen. Earlier this month, we launched the Raspberry Pi Build HAT, an add-on board that makes it easy to control LEGO Technic motors and sensors from your Raspberry Pi using Python.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has produced a set of project guides to give learners a flying start using the Build HAT and programming their LEGO creations, which are being used by schools around the world. We were delighted to learn that kids got complex projects up and running very quickly by using LEGO components for the mechanical elements of their builds — this is a really lovely thing to be able to do with the LEGO that we loved growing up.
Creating more opportunities
You can help provide even more computing education opportunities for young people by making a donation to the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year. We are grateful for every single gift: each one goes toward ensuring that every young person, regardless of their circumstances, gets a chance at the opportunities that have been transformative for many of us.