Big brown boxes
If this blog was an Ealing comedy, it would be a speeded-up montage of an increasingly flustered postman delivering huge numbers of huge boxes to school reception desks across the land. At the end, they’d push their cap up at a jaunty angle and wipe their brow with a large spotted handkerchief. With squeaky sound effects.
Over the past couple of days, huge brown boxes have indeed been dropping onto the counters of school receptions across the UK, and they contain something wonderful— a Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station.
Code club students building a weather station kindly donated by the @Raspberry_Pi foundation thanks @clivebeale pic.twitter.com/yGQP4BQ6SP
This week, we sent out the first batch of Weather Station kits to 150 UK schools. Yesterday – World Meteorological Day, of course! – they started to appear in the wild.
The next code club project has just arrived! Can’t wait to get stuck in! @Raspberry_Pi @clivebeale pic.twitter.com/axA7wJ1RMF
We’re running the UK delivery as a short pilot scheme. With almost 1000 schools involved worldwide, it will give us a chance us to tweak software and resources, and to get a feel for how we can best support schools. In the next few weeks, we’ll send out the remainder of the weather stations. We’ll have a good idea of when this will be next week, when the first kits have been in schools for a while.
Once all the stations are shipped, we’ll be extending and expanding our teaching and learning resources. In particular, we would like resources for big data management and visualisation, and for non-computing subjects such as geography. And, of course, if you make any of your own we’d love to see them.
Super exciting raspberry pi weather station arrived, very lucky to be one of the 150 uk schools @rasberrypi pic.twitter.com/ZER0RPKqIf
“Just” a milestone
This is a big milestone for the project, but it’s not the end by any means. In fact, it’s just the start as schools start to build their stations, using them to investigate the weather and to learn. We’re hoping to see and encourage lots of collaboration between schools. We started the project back in 2014. Over time, it’s easy to take any project for granted, so it was brilliant to see the excitement of teachers and students when they received their kit.
We were really excited to receive our @Raspberry_Pi weather station today. Indoor trial tomorrow. @clivebeale pic.twitter.com/7fsI7DYCYg
It’s been a fun two years, and if you’ve opened a big brown box this morning and found a weather station inside, we think you’ll agree that it’s been worth the wait.
Building and setting up your weather station
The weather station page has tutorials for building the hardware and setting up the software for your weather station are here, along with a scheme of work for teachers and other resources.
The community is hugely important to us and whether you’ve just received a weather station or not, we’d love to hear from you. The best way to get involved is to come to the friendly Weather Station corner of our forums and say hi. This is also the place to get help and to share ideas. If you’re tweeting, then you can reach us @raspberry_pi or on the hashtag #weatherstation – thanks!
Our weather station has arrived!Thanks to @Raspberry_Pi now need some students to help us build it! @BromptonAcademy pic.twitter.com/8qZPG3JTaQ
Buying the kit
We’re often asked if we’ll be selling the kits. We’re currently looking into this and hope that they will be commercially available at some point. I’d love to see a Raspberry Pi Weather Station attached to every school – it’s a project that genuinely engages students across many subjects. In addition, the data gathered from thousands of weather stations, all sending data back to a central database, would be really useful.
That’s all for now
But now that the kits are shipped there’ll be lots going on, so expect more news soon. And do pop into the forums for a chat.
As well as the talented and lovely folk at Pi Towers, we’ve only made it this far with the help of others. At risk of turning into a mawkish awards ceremony speech, a few shout-outs are needed:
Oracle for their generous funding and the database support, especially Nicole at Oracle Giving, Jane at Oracle Academy, and Jeff who built our Apex database.
Rachel, Kevin and team @cpc_tweet for the kit build (each kit has around 80 parts!) and amazing logistics support.
@HackerJimbo for sterling software development and the disk image.
If I’ve missed you out, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.