Here’s a fantastic interview with ICT teacher and Raspberry Jam coordinator Alan O’Donahoe – by computing education researcher Neil Brown, who attended the Manchester Girl Geeks Barcamp and Manchester Raspberry Jam X.
I recently caught up with Alan O’Donohoe, aka @teknoteacher, a computing teacher from Preston. Bursting with energy and enthusiasm, he has a blog, a series of podcasts, runs a raft of computing CPD as well as Hack to the Future and Raspberry Jam events intended to engage the public with computing. No wonder he’s a CAS Master Teacher. In this blog post, Alan talks to me about his Raspberry Jam events (meetings for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts) and the impact he sees them having.
Our organiser Ben Nuttall teamed up with STEMNET at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) to run a Raspberry Jam for schools.
I organised an event with the STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths Network) team at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), based on the Manchester Raspberry Jam I run monthly at Madlab. The STEM Raspberry Jam was to be a new activity the STEM Ambassador network could offer to schools, so we ran a pilot (pi-lot) to give the idea a whirl.
The first Jam was attended by the hosts of the Full Circle Podcast, who recorded a few interviews with participants and a round table discussion with organiser Ben Nuttall.
Post Jamboree, Olly and Les catchup with Ben Nuttall to get his reflections on the event. We reflected on the success of the Manchester Raspberry Jam from its early beginnings which we captured on Episode 29 of the podcast. We discuss the origins of Amy’s Game of Life project. Looking to the future Ben talks about the next event he will be attending and his plans to present a talk on Open Source Software Culture at Manchester Girl Geeks Barcamp.
Reflecting on the success of the first Raspberry Jamboree and talking about the outcomes of the panel discussion Jack took part in. Discussing the first Birmingham Raspberry Jam, how it went and the planning and organisation of the event.
Collaboration between Manchester Raspberry Jam and the STEM Network team at MOSI led towards the Pi-lot of something we would like to see turn it to an ongoing project – Raspberry Jam for schools. Thanks to those in the intersection of STEM Ambassadors and Raspberry Jam regulars for taking the time to volunteer to make this event happen – Ben, Aaron, Lisa & Dan.
The aim of the event was to explore what the technology can do, to get creative with Raspberry Pi and have some fun along the way! With the support and guidance of our dedicated STEM Ambassador volunteers who were present throughout the day, students were guided through setting up a Raspberry Pi, exploring two basic programming languages (Scratch and Python) and using PiFace – the interface which allows written programmes to interact with the outside world.
The day kicked off at 10.30 with an opening talk from organiser Alan O’Donahoe, followed by a wonderful keynote from BBC Micro pioneer Steve Furber. The first session of talks featured Andrew Robinson (creator of PiFace), Carrie Anne Philbin (from Geek Gurl Diaries) and CERN‘s William Bell (talking about MagPi).
Alan, the organiser of the Raspberry Jamboree, blogged his round-up of events on the Raspberry Jam network website:
A total of 365 people attended our Raspberry Jamboree, some of them travelling from across Europe and the Middle East and 140 registered for our webcast with about 50 – 80 people watching throughout the day.