Raspberry Pi

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, as part of our Skunk Works project, the San Diego CSTA will begin hosting inservices through the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center for staff members throughout San Diego County on how to organize and promote a Raspberry Pi club at their sites.

Raspberry Pi is a complete microprocessor [mother board] that can be connected to peripherals [keyboard, mouse, printer, monitor, a network, etc…].

The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside of its target market for uses such as robotics. Peripherals (including keyboards, mice and cases) are not included with the Raspberry Pi. Some accessories however have been included in several official and unofficial bundles.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, over 5 million Raspberry Pis have been sold before February 2015, making it the best-selling British computer. By 9 September 2016 they had sold 10 million.

What is the purpose in using a Raspberry Pi instead of simply a regular store-bought computer that’s ready for immediate use when purchased? Students learn not just how to use a computer, but how to modify, interact with and control things at a more fundamentally creative level: physically [via hardware] and programmatically [via software they write themselves].

Additionally, included with the free Linux operating system download comes a forever free copy of Mathematica.

The cost is minimal [~$35 each] and many teachers have purchased one or more through a DonorsChoose or GoFundMe request. The Pi does require a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but those can almost always be found collecting dust in a back room somewhere on your site or another district site. I ordered 50 sets for a Finite Mathematics class at Sweetwater High School and had no problem finding the peripherals we needed.

We will walk you through a complete introduction: setup process and a county support group where troubleshooting, ideas and successes can be shared.

Raspberry Pi is a world community of student and hobby users. You will find how to create projects such as weather stations, music jukeboxes or create a network with multiple Pi boards networked to create a simple “mini-computer.” The MagPi teacher pdf resource shown to the left is also available for download here.

If you are interested, have questions or would like some further information, contact joseph.pistone@sandiegocsta.org or jpistone@ucsd.edu.