Last Tuesday the Raspberry Pi education team beetled down to the ExCeL London for Bett, the gargantuan learning technology event. We spent the next four days on our new and fabulous stand talking, educating, demo-ing, entertaining, showboating, dancing and gerrymandering. There were astounding demonstrations of technological ingenuity, feats of strength and curious electro-mechanical devices.
Ready for action: the education team plus James Robinson (leftest), Martin O’Hanlon (bluest) and Sam Aaron (tallest). Clive is weeping openly but laughing inside.
We were happily overrun by what seemed like most of the Raspberry Pi community, many of whom made guest appearances in our back to back schedule. We ran hands-on-workshops in Minecraft Pi, Sonic Pi, physical computing, games programming and much more. We stormed the BETT arena with Astro Pi and Fran Scott’s pyro-computing show. We ran about and hooted. It was a brilliant show. My post-show brain is far too fried to write so here are some of our favourite bits:
Set-up day. Dave claims that this is the only place he could get electricity.
I am not a number, I am a free man!
James about to send up a time-lapse Pi on a helium balloon to spy on other stands.
Laura Dixon’s (@codeboom) students from the Royal High School Bath talking about Minecraft coding and their computing club
Dr Sam Aaron, creator of Sonic Pi, showing people how to create beautiful music with code
Stunned silence then cheering: a blackout at Bett. (Nothing to do with us, honest.)
Dave Honess introducing Astro Pi and the ISS. His pitch-roll-yaw demo is now legend
Lance Howarth and Astro Pi on Bett Arena
“My favourite moment was being rushed for Astro Pi leaflets at the end of the opening ceremony of the main arena. I have a great feeling about this whole thing” — Dave Honess
A first for Bett we think: Fran Scott exploding hydrogen-filled balloons in the Arena.
Of course it’s not so easy to blow up stuff in the classroom so we made a safe version, the Balloon Pi-tay Popper:
Fran demonstrating the explosive-free Balloon Pi-tay popper resource.
Connecting Minecraft Pi to the real world: @whaleygeek’s Big Red Button of Doom!
Our friends from Pimoroni show off their brilliant Flotilla
Andrew Mulholland, a student at Queen’s University Belfast, and his LTSP classroom management system for Raspberry Pi
Stewards Academy student @jaymegisbourne demonstrating his Porta-Pi
Raspberry Pi Certified Educators Cat Lamin and Tom Sale show how easy it is to use Pis in primary schools
Carrie Anne picks up her well-deserved Best Author award for Adventures in Raspberry Pi…
…and then celebrates in style with David Whale (@whaleygeek)
And that was that. Four days of manic educational goodness.
Thanks to CPC for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without them. We had a fabulous stand and a great team across the way to give hardware advice and support.
A huge thanks to everyone who gave talks and demos and who helped out on the stand including: Sam Aaron, Laura Dixon, Martin O Hanlon, Alasdair Davies, Dave Honess & UK Space, Eliot Williams, Paul Beech, Jon Williamson, Phil Howard, David Whale, Tim Mockford, Simon Belshaw, Lauren Hyams, Fran Scott, Mike Horne, Tim Richardson, Jamie Mann, Matthew Parry, Cat Lamin, Tom Sale, Wolfram, Stephen Norbury, Naturebytes, Samantha Lubbe, Barry Byford, Karl-Ludwig Butte, Robin Newman, Andrew Mulholland, Spencer Organ, Geraldine Wright, Stewards Academy Raspberry Pi Club, and Cefn Hoile. If I’ve missed anyone then sorry and please email me!
Lastly a big thank you to all of the teachers, students, parents, educators and anyone else who came to see us. See you again next year!