Taking your Pi on the road

Outreach work with the Raspberry Pi

Over the last two years I have developed a number of workshops which I have either delivered at Raspberry Jam events or at my school. This year I am very fortunate to have three hours on my timetable once a fortnight for outreach work. Up to now I have been running sessions at my school but I am now starting to take all my gear to other schools.


Having a big boot is a real bonus, I can easily fit 15 monitors in my boot along with all the gear to set up a classroom.


15 Raspberry Pi workstations setup in a classroom ready for the first workshop

What I have learnt?

Before the workshop

  • Visit the school to discuss aims and objectives of the workshop.
  • Visit the classroom, particularly note how many sockets are available.
  • Check that all your equipment is working
  • Have at least one spare Raspberry Pi and three or four SD cards
  • Identify any students who will need additional support with the class teacher

A possible model for a Minecraft Pi workshop (90 minutes)

  • Introduce yourself and the Raspberry Pi
  • Quick build challenge (10 minutes) to build a hospital - explain controls for students who haven’t used PC / Pi edition before
  • Show students how you can build a hospital in about 10 seconds by running hospital script here
  • Students complete task 1 posting messages to chat (from here)
  • There will be many times when students are waiting for help or have completed their task, encourage them to go back to their hospital to add more detail
  • Once everyone has task one completed complete task 5 - building a simple house
  • As an extension complete task 6
  • Review the session by asking students to think of one thing they have enjoyed and one thing they had to show resilience with
  • Hand out certificates

Equipment I take to a workshop

  • 15 x Raspberry Pi (with various hats attached!)
  • 15 x power supplies
  • 15 x keyboards
  • 16 x mice
  • 15 x monitor
  • 15 x HDMI --> DVI for monitors
  • 15 x 4 way power extension lead
  • 2 x 15m garden extension lead
  • data projector, spare Pi and cables
  • 2 x spare Raspberry Pi
  • Worksheets

Do ask any questions and share suggestions in the comments.


Another pot of Raspberry Jam in Birmingham

With Raspberry Jams, free CPD sessions and most recently Picademy, Birmingham is rapidly becoming a great place for the Raspberry Pi.

On Saturday 31st Martin O’Hanlon ran a very successful Raspberry Jam at the Google Digital Garage in the Library of Birmingham. 39 people came from a range of backgrounds and experience levels. Feedback as people were leaving was very positive and everyone said that they had a good afternoon.

The programme for the afternoon was simple but gave people an opportunity to try new things on the Raspberry Pi and to attend two workshops.

12:00 - Open
12:15 - 12:30 Welcome
12:30 - 13:00 Getting to know the Pi / show and tell / free flow
13:00 - 13:50 Workshop 1 - Minecraft coding with @ncscomputing
14:00 - 14:50 Workshop 2 - Physical computing with @mruktechreviews
15:00 - Close

The two workshops were run by @ncscomputing and myself @mruktechreviews which both were very well received.

A few photos from the day posted on twitter.

Martin welcoming everyone at the start of the afternoon

Minecraft workshop in full swing

Lots of exciting components to make disco lights

“And you connect the long leg to the left”

The 2nd Raspberry Jam at the Google Digital Garage in the Library of Birmingham will be on the 5th December from 12 - 3pm. You can sign up and book tickets here.

Do come along and support our local jam!