3 STEM Sisters coding with Raspberry Pi

3 STEM Sisters coding with Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi has become our oldest two girls new found love.  Those two live true to the fact that sisters who code together change the world together. Our girls have always enjoyed coding because Hubby not only is passionate about coding but he spends time sharing that passion with his girls.

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, let’s celebrate every girl child in our lives by valuing them, believing in them and empowering them to soar beyond their wildest dreams because they are destined for greatness!

A couple of years ago, Hubby and our oldest attended the Hour of Code at our local library and she has fallen in love with coding.  She then involved her youngest one because again sisters who code together, change the world together.

My heart is overjoyed watching our STEM girls getting excited about the whole process of coding because I was a coder girl myself.  I remember taking my first Computer Science in College and falling in love with the language C++.  I was fascinated by the whole process of communicating with a computer and how it opened up a whole new world to me.  Most of my college life was spent in the computer lab with my classmates challenging each other with every new computer language we learned.

3 STEM Sisters coding with Raspberry PiWhen our oldest two being sisters who code together started getting interested in Raspberry Pi, I wanted to find out more about.  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. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside of its target market for uses such as robotics.

When the decline in numbers and skills of students applying for Computer Science became a concern for a team that included Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory in 2006, a need for a tiny and affordable computer came to their minds.

Several versions of the early Raspberry Pi prototypes were designed but were very limited by the high cost and low power processors for mobile devices at that time. In 2008, the team started a collaboration with Pete Lomas, MD of Norcott Technologies and David Braben, the co-author of the seminal BBC micro game Elite, and formed the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

We had the pleasure to visit the Raspberry Pi booth at World Maker Faire New York and it was hard to get our girls to leave.  The workshop with Matt Richardson was called Getting Started with Raspberry Pi  and consisted of learning what Raspberry Pi is, its use, and how makers have been integrating this $35 mini computer in their projects.

The girls were able to write simple Python programs to blink an LED and detect the push of a button. As part of the project the girls not only got chance to enter the code but also connect the wiring for the LED and button. Although at this point the girls may not understand the details behind how everything works, what is more important is they are motivated and inspired.

When I asked the oldest what she likes about Raspberry PI she said, “Even though I know you can program on the Arduino, I seem to understand more on the Raspberry Pi and they seem to have more tutorial and things you can do. Also I want to learn Python.”

STEM sisters who code together on Rasberry Pi with PythonMatt Richardson is a San Francisco-based Executive Director for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and is a columnist for The MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine.

We also learned about a computing and digital making magazine for educators, (Hello World), available for free and written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more.

Needless to say, all 3 girls left very inspired about everything Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry Pi offers a great opportunity for a wide range of learning from hardware to programming or even file protocols. By combining the technology with fun real world projects, you are sure to inspire the coder in your child. Sisters who code together change the world together and I am glad my STEM girls are finding out together.

WELLthy Mom NODte:”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

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