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Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi® is an excellent, fun way for kids (and adults!) to learn about computers. Created in England, this inexpensive, single-board computer is used to introduce students to programming, operating systems, electronics, and more.

Currently I'm teaching several Raspberry Pi courses online for Landry Academy.

raspberry pi course for kids

Computer Programming

Programming is what attracted me to computers years ago. I love the logic, problem-solving, and creative aspects of programming a computer.

The developer of the Raspberry Pi, Eben Upton, created it primarily as a tool to teach programming to young people. The Pi comes with a variety of languages that students can explore.

  • Python is one of the easiest traditional languages to begin with
  • You can use Python to create programs that interact with Minecraft
  • Python can be used to control the GPIO pins for electronics projects
  • For the younger crowd or those who want a gentler introduction, the Pi comes with its own version of Scratch, the visual programming language. Drag and drop script blocks to create impressive programs quickly - no typing involved!

When I was working on my bachelor's in Computer Science, I was one of two females in the department. Maybe one reason girls are not more attracted to programming is the belief that you have to be some kind of mathematical wizard to be a programmer. That may be true for some types of programming, like engineering or low-level graphics, but for the most part, you can do quite well as a programmer without exceptional math skills.

Electronics on the Pi

Don't know a resistor from a transistor? A breadboard from a motherboard? The Pi is a great tool for learning electronics. The most recent model of the Pi has 40 GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins that allow you to interface with varous electronic components.

You can program the GPIO pins from both the Python and Scratch programming languages. Start with something as simple as lighting a single LED and see where you can go from there.

I was fortunate to be one of 40 educators selected to attend the first Picademy held in the U.S. The two-day event was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. I am now a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator!