Combine LEGOs, Simple Machines, Scratch and Raspberry Pi to make dynamic, programmable art

Latin 7th Grade Girls featured on Raspberry Pi Blog

We are on today. Here are the very nice comments from Liz Upton:

I met Tom Dubick about a year ago at Hackerspace Charlotte, NC. He teaches engineering to the girls at Charlotte Latin School, and we believe his class was the first to be using the Raspberry Pi in the United States.

He and a group of his 13-year-old pupils have just given a TEDx talk called How Girls Should Serve Raspberry Pi. The girls here are presenting the projects they’ve made with Raspberry Pi over this semester, but there’s another important message here: we know that STEM subjects are not just for boys, but we should recognise that not all girls are the same, so our teaching approach is doomed if we decide that the only way to get girls into engineering subjects is to “shrink it and pink it”.

Keep watching — the projects get better and better. (Rolling backpack indicator lights FTW!)

READ: Charlotte Latin girls give a TEDx talk (via Raspberry Pi)

Why the Raspberry Pi computer is a game changer.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

The $35 Raspberry Pi computer (yeah, the card above is actually a computer) can be a game changer is for the following reasons:

  • GPIO: General Purpose Input Output Pin means you can do physical computing including robotics on the cheap.
  • Scratch and Python are freely distributed programming languages. Scratch is hugely successful now married to a $35 computer. Please remind me again why every 11 year old can’t be exposed to programming.
  • Linux: free operating system — don’t worry it has a very friendly user interface
  • Small size: easier to store in your classroom or home
  • Price: not really just $35. You will need to have used equipment to keep the price at $35. However, at twice price it still pretty darn cheap when you consider that you have no software costs.