In the summer of 2015, President Obama made call to action to create a Nation of Makers within the United States. We made a commitment in response to that call: we would train 100 teachers in digital making with Raspberry Pi in 2016. Last weekend, we made a giant leap towards fulfilling that commitment with our first Picademy within the United States. In fact, it was the first ever Picademy held beyond the borders of Britain.
We invited 40 educators to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA to learn Raspberry Pi, Python, Scratch, the Sense HAT, the Camera Module, working with motors, buttons, switches, LEDs, and our philosophy around digital making for education. This cohort traveled from all over the United States to become the first set of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators that have been trained on US soil. They included classroom teachers, librarians, and community educators.
Success! @juliegoo2 lights up an led at @Raspberry_Pi #picademy pic.twitter.com/ZjvT5M65UI
On the second day, the cohort broke into groups and began their own journey into digital making. They collaborated to create robots, tweeting objects, connected sensors, camera traps, communication systems, and more. Throughout the experience, Babbage the bear was a very good sport about lending a paw.
Ready, set, #hackathon ! Excited to get going on my project! @Raspberry_Pi #picademy pic.twitter.com/jxZ5W9euVZ
The resulting projects were incredible. Towards the end of the second day, we all had the opportunity to see what everyone had made. Take a look for yourself in this playback from Carrie Anne’s Periscope stream.
To conclude the experience, we officially pronounced them Raspberry Pi Certified Educators, inducting them into a community of digital making educators that is passionate, creative, and collaborative. We know this is just the start for them, and we’re looking forward to seeing what how these educators continue their journey in digital making with students.
@RafranzDavis getting her @Raspberry_Pi Certified Educator certificate at #picademy pic.twitter.com/A6fWXh5sQC
This was the largest Picademy ever and the first one held outside the United Kingdom. We could not have done it without a lot of support. All of us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation would to thank: Dexter Industries, Adafruit Industries, Sparkfun Electronics, and Low Voltage Labs for equipping the teachers with products and discounts. David Saunders, a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator who joined us to help participants and speak about his school’s “Labrary.” Sonia Uppal and Mark Pavlyukovskyy for speaking about their amazing work with Raspberry Pi.
Most of all, we’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone at the Computer History Museum, especially Kate McGregor, Stephanie Corrigan, and Lauren Silver. CHM was the perfect venue for a Picademy in the Bay Area since much of the history of computing took place right nearby. It was amazing to give this cohort such a rich historical context for their work with Raspberry Pi computers.
Here’s what some of the newest Raspberry Pi Certified Educators have published about Picademy:
- The Nerdy Teacher: No Such Thing As Too Much Pi #Picademy by Nicholas Provenzano
- The Power of Pi by Smita Kolhatkar
- Picademy USA 2016 by Lucie deLaBruere
- Picademy – What a Rush! by Kevin Olson
If you’re interested in becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, apply to join our next Picademy in the US, which will be held again at the Computer History Museum on April 30th and May 1st. The workshop is open to professional educators and is free to attend. Accepted applicants are responsible for the travel and accommodation. If the next workshop won’t work for you, sign up for email updates about possible future Picademy workshops in the USA.