Raspberry Pi at MozFest 2015

A few weeks ago, Dave Honess mentioned that there would be lots of brilliant Raspberry Pi activities at MozFest this year, thanks to a huge amount of organising effort from Raspberry Pi Creative Technologist Andrew Mulholland – Andrew, we’re really grateful for all the hard work you put in to make everything run smoothly! MozFest 2015 took place in London on 7-8 November, and Andrew has written about a really successful weekend of activities there.

Thanks to an awesome army of 20 volunteers from the Raspberry Pi community, we successfully pulled off 15 Raspberry Pi workshops for kids and adults alike using 45 Raspberry Pis at the Mozilla Festival in London earlier this month.

Young people at a Scratch workshop with Raspberry Pi at MozFest 2015

Scratch workshop with Raspberry Pi at MozFest 2015

The Mozilla Festival (also known as MozFest) is an annual, hands-on festival that is dedicated to forging the future of the open web. This year, following a successful pilot in 2014, there was a dedicated YouthZone: this wasn’t a zone for young people only, but rather an area focused on seeing through the eyes of the makers, inventors and developers of tomorrow.

There was a whole stack of awesome sessions besides the Raspberry Pi workshops, including virtual reality, Minecraft hack jams and projection mapping workshops. There were even non-techie parents and grandparents running sessions on merging craft with digital electronics, at which our Pi volunteers helped: they included making paracord friendship bracelets, which uses the same part of the brain as coding! You can see a full list of what was going on in the 2015 Mozfest schedule.

Girls making a pixel pet with a Raspberry Pi and a Sense HAT at MozFest

Making a pixel pet with a Raspberry Pi and a Sense HAT at MozFest

We ran our workshops back-to-back over the weekend. They were aimed at both children and adults, and covered topics including Astro Pi (thanks to Raspberry Pi Foundation for help with that), Minecraft Pi hacking, electronics with Scratch, Sonic Pi, and even two special sessions just for adults in the evenings. All our resources from the weekend developed by the volunteers can be found on GitHub.

On top of the workshops themselves, we were also running the DOTs board activity over the whole weekend; as usual, this was very popular, and we got through over 400 boards.

A young girl completes our DOTS board activity, drawing on a printed circuit board with conductive paint

A young visitor to MozFest tries out the Raspberry Pi DOTS board activity

Massive thanks to the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Farset Labs for helping out with equipment, and to the awesome army of volunteers and Raspberry Pi team members who helped make it all possible: Frank, Zach, Joseph, Jim, Tom, Cat, Milton, Nic, Bawar, Connor, Yasmin, Polly, Charlotte, Isreal, Bethanie, David, Alan, Carrie Anne, Dave and Helen!

Raspberry Pi community volunteers pose at MozFest

Awesome Raspberry Pi community volunteers at MozFest

One final huge thanks goes to the unstoppable Dorine Flies and Harry Smith, YouthZone Space Wranglers, who invited us along (and put up with us for three days).

After this massive success, we have been invited next year, so who knows, there might be even more Pi at MozFest in 2016!


Carrie Anne Philbin avatar

I spent almost two days with this fabulous bunch of young people. Never have I been so impressed by a groups professionalism, community spirit, and resilience. I enjoyed every minute of my time supporting their efforts. In fact I’d say they out shone many of the adult volunteers and staff!

I was also pleasantly surprised to see so many young people come through our doors over the course of the event. I felt very lucky to have been a part of such a great event.

P.S. Milton I think you would make a fantastic teacher! Andrew can you organise all my events from now on please?!

Nuex* Luke Castle avatar

Will there been in North Yorkshire (York) as I live there and I love coding. Thanks, luke

Dorine Flies avatar

Andrew Mulholland, is starting to look for his year in industry starting for a 2016 start, would he not be perfect for the Pi foundation (hint hint ;)? Ive already invited him back to come do a repeat at #MozFest as one of my co – wrangler team which I very much hope he will accept for MozFest 2016, he is a natural born tech event facilitator and leader :)


AlanMc avatar

Good stuff. Well done for all the hard work and activities. I’m sure it was great craic ;o)

Where and when exactly will next year’s Mozfest be?

Andrew Mulholland avatar

No one knows yet, although I would doubt they would switch venue. Mozfest has been at Ravensbourne College for past 3-4 years. As for the date, sometimes near end of October/early November 2016 is my guess.

AlanMc avatar

Merci Andrew.

Dorine Flies avatar

MozFest is happening October 28th (CPD day for session all leaders)29th and 30th (Festival public days) in 2016, we will again have a good Pi offering :) hopefully a few with Pi 3’s!

Jarle Teigland avatar

Lucky enough to spend a few hours on Sunday there – just awesome; fabulous workshops going on , great atmosphere ?

Dorine Flies avatar

We hope to see you again :) why not come run a session with the team?!

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