My year of Pi - Guest Blog

My Year with the Raspberry Pi


I released my first website eight years ago at the age of six. It was a website dedicated to the latest news from the children's site 'Club Penguin'. Back then, the chance of me owning my own robot was as low as the chance NASA has of landing on Jupiter. By that, I mean it was basically impossible. Now at the age of fourteen, I own two. This is all thanks to the Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized computer. I heard about the Pi in November 2014, when my computer science teacher posted about MinecraftPi on our school VLE. I'm a massive fan of the game, so having the pi associated to it led me to research the device until I eventually received the original model B with an awesome rainbow PiBow for my birthday in February. As a result of this, I've had an amazing school year in the field of computer science. In May, I attended the Southend Raspberry Jam, which was a really awesome day as I spoke about my school's Astro Pi entry with another girl named Marian, who is also pi crazy! We met loads of people who worked as programmers and developers which inspired me to keep learning and creating. However, my experiences with the pi have not been all about software. The strangest thing is that now, I'm not 100% sure whether I want to be a hardware or software developer! Through the pi, I have learnt the skill of soldering by connecting GPIO headers to new components, and when soldering motor controller boards. I've also been to the first Southend Fablab which is an event all about 3D printing. This led me to buy a Vellemen 3D printer of my own, and it was great fun to put together! However, the most amazing part of owning and programming with the Raspberry Pi is the community of makers that comes with it. As a result of this massive community, I have met loads of inspiring people, and those I haven't have spoken to me via twitter (such as Spencer who runs this fine blog). Whilst I've taken a load of inspiration, it makes me really proud to say that I have started inspiring others by teaching year 7 and 9 classes at my school. The main topic is MinecraftPi, which is really good for an introduction to Python, which we use for GCSE so I suppose it creates an early interest, which will hopefully persuade more year sevens to choose computer science for their GCSEs.In the future, I hope to collaborate the BBC Microbit with the pi and run a club for the new intake so the Microbit isn't something that they forget to bring to lessons, and eventually gets hoovered up in year 8. Thanks for reading this, and I hope to meet more of the pi community in September, where I will be speaking about MinecraftPi at the Cambridge Raspberry Jam.


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Yasmin Bey Young Programmer / Enderman Slayer


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