Primary school Scratch-based Code Clubs get Royal approval and ARM cash

Primary school Code Clubs get royal approval and ARM cash - 2/7/2013 - Electronics Weekly

I’m cribbing this from Electronics Weekly.

“The Duke of York and processor firm ARM have put their shoulders behind Code Club, a nationwide volunteer project to teach programming to 9-11 year-olds in after-school clubs.

Thought up by computer scientist Linda Sandvik and user experience designer Clare Sutcliffe in a pub last year, there are already 530 Code Clubs across the UK.

To promote Code Clubs – the target is to have 5,000 of them by 2015 – Prince Andrew has become patron, and ARM had donated enough money for Sutcliffe to become the first full-time employee of the scheme. “We are supporting Code Club: we are giving it some money, we are giving it some expertise, and we are giving it some people,” said Stephen Pattison, v-p public affairs at ARM, at Soho Parish School, one of the first schools to have ons of the clubs.

ARM’s support extends to funding the establishment of up to 1,000 Code Clubs “enabling over 15,000 UK primary school children to learn the fundamental basics of how to write computer programs,” said the firm, whose employees have already set-up 12 clubs at primary schools around its UK offices.

Prince Andrew is accepting the post as part of his support for initiatives that encourage young people to continue with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school, college and university, and thereafter to consider a career in science and engineering, said ARM. Clubs have at least one volunteer programming expert from industry, plus teachers.

Programming is in Scratch – the MIT-developed graphical language for young people which runs on Windows PCs, under MacOS, and under Linux (including Debian Linux on Raspberry Pi). The educational programme is set out by the organisation. “We provide all the curriculum materials,” Sandvik told Electronics Weekly.

So far, Code Club has prepared lessons for three term’s-worth of activities at the clubs, and is working on a Python curriculum for older children.

Scratch and Python are also the languages that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has selected for the same age groups. 3,000 of the 15,000 Raspberry Pis that Google is donating for education in the UK are earmarked for Code Clubs.”

There’s a Code Club at Bradwell Village School that is supported by MK Raspberry Jam’s own Sway Grantham. Here’s a blog post from a recent Code Club run by Bradwell’s Neil Smith.

Read the original post here

RaspiRobotBoard expansion board available for #RaspberryPi

board on a piThe RaspiRobotBoard is an expansion board for the Raspberry Pi that helps you to turn the Raspberry Pi into a robot controller.

The board is now available from SparkFun for just under $30.

The board features the following:

  • Dual Bi-directional Motor Control
  • Voltage Regulator powers Raspberry Pi from Batteries (7-12V)
  • 2 x Open collector outputs (25mA)
  • 2 x LEDs
  • 2 x Switch inputs
  • 5V Serial connector (for RangeFinder
  • 3.3V I2C connector
  • Simple to use Python library module

The board looks very promising and is certainly packed with features. I just hope someone in the UK decides to import it!

Linux User & Developer issue 123 – #RaspberryPi Birthday special

Linux User & Developer Issue 123 - Great Digital Mags

To celebrate the Raspberry Pi’s 1st birthday, UK-based magazine Linux User and Developer is stuffed full of RPi stuff this month. Included in the magazine are:

  • An exclusive interview with Eben Upton
  • 10 amazing projects
  • Turn the RPi into a CPN

You can buy and download it electronically from various places – this page has links to where you can get it.

I did notice that on Amazon.com it’s currently free although it’s not available for the UK. For UK readers, it’s available in most good-sized newsagents such as WHSmith.

LU&D is a fantastic magazine and often covers the Raspberry Pi in it’s pages. Strongly recommended!

Network Enabled ShapeOko CNC Uses #RaspberryPi and Alamode

MAKE | Network Enabled ShapeOko CNC Uses Raspberry Pi and Alamode

“Anyone familiar with CNC routers knows they generate a lot of dust. Most machines also require a dedicated computer to run them, which usually gets filled with that dust. Kevin Osborn from Wyolum got tired of this never ending cycle and used a Raspberry Pi and AlaMode shield (available in the Maker Shed) to network enable his ShapeOko CNC machine. This way he can box up the electronics, send G-Code wirelessly over his network. The Raspberry Pi then controls the machine leaving his good computer clean and available for other tasks.”

MAKE | Network Enabled ShapeOko CNC Uses Raspberry Pi and Alamode.