Computer Laboratory

Raspberry Pi

stackofpies The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (No. 1129409). The object of the charity is to further the advancement of education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects. The charity was founded in November 2008.

The challenge

Computer science is now a key problem solving tool in a broad range of industries and scientific disciplines. It is a rigorous academic discipline that is of great importance to everyone, not just those wanting to work in the computing industry. Just a little understanding provides access to a fantastic playground for young minds, where almost anything can be created and explored. Fundamentally, as with mathematics and other sciences, it enables us to understand the world around us in order to make informed decisions and innovate.

Computer science describes how computers work, how they may be programmed and even helps determine how hard a problem will be to answer. This is in contrast to ICT or IT skills that teach how to use computers and their applications. Unfortunately, many young people are only ever exposed to ICT courses rather than the much broader, richer and exciting world of computing. The ability to write even simple programs is a powerful tool for helping to solve difficult problems or for just having fun! Of course, thinking like a computer scientist also means more than being able to program. Designing algorithms, using abstraction and decomposition to tackle large problems, selecting appropriate representations, learning how to build correct, robust and scalable systems are now key skills in the information age.

The Computing at School working group describe the challenges faced at school in this area. Prof. Simon Peyton-Jones also describes the challenges in a recent talk.

The Raspberry Pi computer

Our first project is a flexible low-cost computer. It provides an ideal environment for experimenting with programming and electronics. The computer has a credit-card sized footprint and consumes at most a few watts of power. It costs 22 pounds/$35 for the Model-B (15 pounds/$25 for Model-A).

The Model-B went on sale on the 29th February 2012 (The Model-A in February 2013). There are currently millions of Raspberry Pi owners worldwide

The bulk of Raspberry Pi computers are produced in Pencoed, South Wales

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