Corby and Rothwell pupils sink their teeth into Rasberry Pi technology

Product Compliance Engineer Andrew Shorley shows the capability of 3D printing with children from Corby Business Academy
Product Compliance Engineer Andrew Shorley shows the capability of 3D printing with children from Corby Business Academy
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Pupils from Corby and Rothwell got the chance to see the computers of the future – thanks to a Corby firm’s donation.

RS Components, of Corby, has recently donated 200 Raspberry Pi devices – small credit card-sized computers that can be used in electronics project – to the schools so it held an event to educate youngsters on how to get the most of them.

The event was attended by children from Stanion Primary School, Montsaye Academy, Rothwell, and Lodge Park and Corby Business Academy.

The objective of the event was to support the students in the changes they are facing from the new IT curriculum.

The children were educated about designspark.com – RS’ online electronics design resource – and given some practical projects to take away to get them using the Raspberry Pi computers as part of their learning.

DesignSpark community manager at RS Pete Wood said: “The ethos behind the development of the Raspberry Pi by inventor Eben Upton was to get children inspired and interacting with computers and electronics and experimenting with programming, so we wanted to be able to follow up the donation we made of the Raspberry Pi devices with some learning resource to support this.

“The event was a great success, with practical Raspberry Pi demos and 3D printing demos, which the children of varying ages seemed to enjoy and be interested in.

“We hope this will inspire both teachers and pupils in their IT teaching, learning and skills development.”

This event followed the recent involvement of RS in a demonstration to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, on her visit to Corby Technical School, as part of a nationwide schools tour she is conducting.

RS inventory planner Liam McDade was invited to attend to explain the ethos behind the donation of the Raspberry PI devices and how they would aid student learning.

The Raspberry PI was developed in 2006 by Eben and colleagues at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, following concern over the declining skills of students applying to the university to study computer science.

The aim was to change the way young people interact with computers, as in recent times, the latter have become increasingly expensive machines that children are not permitted to experiment with.

The Raspberry PI was launched to market in 2011, with RS being one of the lead distributors.

Pete added: “It’s great to see the devices we donated being put to good use and to be able to provide a way for this trend to continue in schools.

“It is at school age that we we need to inspire kids in these areas if we are to secure the future of the IT, engineering and electronics industries in the UK.”