Raspberry Pi, the tiny $25 computer aimed at teaching people how to program, has been around for a while now, and it’s still an extremely popular device. The design allows everyone the ability to create whatever they want, from a web server to a home automation system, and we are still seeing plenty of new ideas come up every day. While in the '80s, everyone with a computer had easy access to programming tools, today’s GUIs mean kids are exposed to pointing and clicking and not BASIC programming.
Raspberry Pi competitions are a good way to get kids thinking outside of the box. As reported by ChannelBiz, PA Consulting Group held a competition where students were given a Raspberry Pi, a keyboard, mouse, display, SD card, and £50 to purchase any additions they wanted for the platform and were told to do something to “make the world better.” The submissions were broken down into four categories, ages 8-11, ages 12-16, ages 16-18, and an open category for all ages.
Ages 8-11: A system designed to help the disabled by sending a message to a person at the front door or remotely unlocking the door to let the person in.
Ages 12-16: A pill dispenser that lets doctors administer the proper dosages via a website and if the patient does not take the medication within a certain amount of time, notification is sent to friends/family/neighbors to check in with the person.
Ages 16-18: An air quality and weather station that uploads data about the temperature, humidity, smoke, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide levels to a website, allowing comparisons to other devices that are geographically dispersed.
Open Category: A sensor that allows homeowners to monitor their electricity consumption.
It is great to see kids getting involved in these types of projects and it’s a great way to show the power of a relatively cheap computing platform. We have some help available if you're interested in learning more about Pi yourself.