Raspberry Pi Up Close

Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and programmers of the future are invited to an event at Edge Hill University to mark the credit-card-sized computer’s second birthday.

On Saturday 1 March, Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education will host a Family Hack Day with up to 300 students, teachers, parents and computing enthusiasts who will learn about the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi and solve programming puzzles in teams.

The Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a deck of playing cards. With a TV or standard computer monitor it can be used like a desktop computer to browse the web, do word processing and also can play HD video, but was developed to encourage people to learn to tinker with computing.

The tiny computer can be used as the brains of a robot, operate garage doors, or be used to create artifacts such as musical instruments and has even been sent into space.

Since the revolutionary hardware was launched at the end of February 2012, computing science and IT trainee teachers and lecturers have invited schools, colleges and hundreds of members of the community to attend events at Edge Hill University to demonstrate the Raspberry Pi’s potential.

The challenges at the Hack Day will be centred on games development with Scratch, software development with Python, hardware hacking and robotics with devices like Pi Face.

As the Raspberry Pi is self-contained and uses an SD card, monitor and keyboard, programmers can experiment without damaging servers or other computers.

Trainee teachers at Edge Hill University have embraced the hardware and set up Raspberry Pi clubs, communities and forums to help spread the word about the computer’s potential as well as taking their knowledge into schools.

Dawn Hewitson, PGCE ICT course leader said: “I think there’s a lot of fear around this little piece of green hardware, but once we’re able to demonstrate how it works, we can use it as a platform to explore creativity and innovation.

“The potential in this hardware is enormous and at events like the Hack Day we can demonstrate how to code efficiently, how to structure code and programme in a safe environment. Learning to programme using the Raspberry Pi enables young programmers to develop skills which are directly transferable to industry.”

The Family Hack Day will take place at Edge Hill University’s Faculty of Education between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 1 March. People with their own Raspberry Pi devices are asked to bring them to the event.

Tickets are £5 each and available by clicking here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ocr-raspberry-jamboree-family-hack-day-tickets-10234763453