I have been having great success with my Make-it.Technology project here in Ipswich, getting Raspberry Pi computers in plastic tubs with screens, keyboard, mouse and electronics kits to young people to have a go at coding and see if they like the experience – to see about a career in coding or make a difference to the world! The young people have been having fun and it’s been very rewarding knowing I have started the journey to computer programming for some young people that never knew what programming was – and they are naturals!
It all started a few years back when I was filmed by the BBC for a project to connect a truck to the internet, getting my involvement with the Raspberry Pi foundation and the start of the Raspberry Jam events in Ipswich. I saw the potential for these cheap computers to be put in-front of the young person that I was, that missed an opportunity in code at a young age. Becoming an electrical engineer and mixing this with code has lead to the project that is now a real entity going out getting young people accessing code and seeing their potential.
It’s very simple, with ten tubs, worksheets and support to have a go at live coding both young and old are able to have a go in any location that has power. I have made worksheets to control LED lights that the students have wired up, to control a motor with an arm and coding (computer programming) in Minecraft to make megga structures that would otherwise take hours to do.
This is great for personal development and confidence with a ‘I can do this moment’ when it works and a sense of achievement and accomplishment when they work through the faults in the code and get it right.