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NMIT Sponsors Raspberry Pi’s into Schools

6 August 2013

NMIT Sponsors Raspberry Pi’s into Schools

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is sponsoring Raspberry Pi’s into local secondary schools to aid with computer science training.

Thirteen local secondary schools across Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough will receive between two to six Raspberry Pi kits each. Raspberry Pi’s are credit-card sized single board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

Four of the schools – Waimea College, Nelson College, Nelson College for Girls and Garin College will use the Raspberry Pi’s to take part in the {Codeworx} national secondary schools technology challenge. Students taking part in the {Codeworx} challenge must use a Raspberry Pi to solve a real world problem, be useful in someone’s life, have a user-friendly design interface and use process-driven computer programming.

NMIT Senior Lecturer Mark Caukill said sponsoring the Raspberry Pi’s was a highly practical way NMIT could support local digital technology teachers and students. “The Raspberry Pi’s are an inexpensive but powerful programming platform which can be used for many different creative purposes. We’re living an increasingly technological world and it’s important that schools are teaching logic from an early age – and programming is basically the application of logic and creativity using a specific syntax. And these tiny computers will also help the teachers with the new digital curriculum,” he said.

In addition to supplying the Raspberry Pi kits, NMIT is supporting schools involved in the {Codeworx} Challenge by providing workshops, school and campus visits and hosting an online forum with resources and troubleshooting tips. “This is about us giving something back to the community and supporting teachers in an ever-changing technological world,” Mark Caukill said.

Waimea College Digital Technology Studies teacher Diana Beeby said the school had 41 students entered into the {Codeworx} Challenge. While many students had purchased their own Raspberry Pi’s, the support being provided by NMIT was invaluable.

“I really appreciate NMIT getting us going on the {Codeworx} Challenge. We were nervous but excited about entering, but having that support from NMIT has given us the confidence to make a start. This year will be a bit of a learning curve, but the Raspberry Pi’s are a great teaching tool and the students love them,” she said.


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