Despite how much we rely on our technological devices and life would almost be unthinkable without access to the internet, the personal computer (PC) has only been in the majority of people’s lives for thirty years.
In such a short space it’s revolutionised how we live, work, and even socialise, with many turning to apps to help find potential partners. This newfound reliance on computing led to the creation the Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi’s origin story began back in 2006. The main goal behind the inception of this single board computer was to help young people discover computers at a low cost and understand how they worked.
Founded by the British engineer Eben Upton. In his spare time, Upton loved building his own computers and wanted to inspire a younger generation. Whilst he was developing his prototypes, he realised STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematic) subjects weren’t being taught in the majority of schools because of the costs involved.
Creating the cost-effective Raspberry Pi, Upton was able to introduce programming to more young people. The low cost, credit-card sized computer was designed to be able to plug straight into a computer monitor or TV and uses a standard keyboard and mouse to ensure it’s easy to use.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK based charity that carries on Upton’s desire to help advance the education of adults and children in computer sciences. And the legacy of the Pi is that it continues to be the most effective way to build skills and more importantly, interest in STEM subjects in school.
Helping people of all ages and all programming abilities, the Raspberry Pi models can be used to create a number of different devices, including sensors, speakers, tracking cameras, and much more.
Coorous Mohtadi, MathWorks’s senior member and a technical specialist in their team says,
“Integrating low-cost and accessible hardware, such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi, into the curriculum supports project-based learning approaches. By getting hands-on with this hardware students are able to explore real-world problems and bring theory to life.
“Key to the success is that hardware facilitates projects that are fun and inspiring for students – they can work on applications ranging from robotics to signal processing to control systems. In doing so they’re also learning approaches and skills that are relevant to their future careers.”
As the UK looks to become a world leader in tech development, the Raspberry Pi is helping to facilitate this. Innovation is responsible for the majority of the UK labour productivity growth and will undoubtedly be a vital part of the UK’s economy in the coming decades and it all starts in schools with this small device.