Raspberry Pi and Google Code Next bring computer science to 1000 Chicago students

To round off Computer Science Education Week 2020, the Google Code Next team, working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and some incredible volunteers in the Chicago area, helped over 400 Black and Latinx high school students get coding using Raspberry Pi 400. Here’s Omnia Saed with more.

In partnership with Google Code Next, the Raspberry Pi Foundation curated a computer science activity for over 400 Chicago Public Schools students. Over 1000 kits with the newly released Raspberry Pi 400 were sent to six public schools to mark the end of Computer Science Education Week (7-14 December).

Google Code Next

Google Code Next is a free computer science education program for Black and Latinx high school students. Between 2011 and 2018, Black and Hispanic college students each only made up 3 percent of computer science graduates; Code Next works to change that. The program provides students with the skills and inspiration needed for long and rewarding careers in computer science.

“We aim to provide Black and Latinx students with skills and technical social capital — that web of relationships you can tap into,” said Google Diversity STEM Strategist Shameeka Emanuel.

The main event

The virtual event brought over 80 Google volunteers, students and teachers together to create their very own “Raspimon”—a virtual monster powered by Raspberry Pi. For many students, it was their first time coding.

Matt Richardson, Executive Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation North America, opened the event by telling students to share their work with family and friends.

“I hope you find new ways to solve problems or express yourselves creatively. More importantly, be sure to share what you create with someone you know – you might just spark curiosity in someone else,” he said.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, Troy Williams, Chicago Public Schools interim director of computer science, explains, “Our students being able to have access to these Raspberry Pis and other resources supplements the learning they’re doing in the classrooms, and brings another level of engagement where they can create on their own. It really helps toward closing the digital divide and the learning gap as well.”

Want to join in with the fun? You’ll find a copy of the activity and curriculum on the Code Next website.

Top view of a woman's hands using the Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard and official Raspberry Pi mouse

And if you’re looking to introduce someone to coding over the holidays, there’s still time to order a Raspberry Pi 400 computer kit from our network of Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers.


Ken avatar

Well done Raspberry Pi Foundation. This is why I continue to buy the products knowing the company supports such charitable endeavors.

Kevin Smith avatar

Thank you for doing this. I missed the reporting in the Sun Times story. Just a week ago I was wishing somebody would donate Pis to CPS. I did hear on the local news that 70,000 kids signed up for in person learning after the new year. Can you donate some more?

BoB LeSuer avatar

I did not see a list of the schools receiving the RPi 400 – is there one available?
(and is this the Kevin Smith I know from CSU?)

Kevin Smith avatar

I couldn’t find a list. I’m not the Kevin Smith from CSU or the film director.

Nelson Jordan avatar

I love the support you show to schools and it’s great that virtual events like these can take place when in-person meeting is so limited. I’m sure the kids were thrilled to create their own code monster!

Sonu Sahu avatar

I was not able to buy any Good PC because of financial problem. But Raspberry Pi literally helped me. I learned coding because of Raspberry pi.
Eagerly waiting for Raspberry Pi 5

Yuvraj Sahoo avatar

Raspberry pi have been an inspiration for people trying to learn coding.

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