Tag Archives: digital making

Creative projects for young digital makers

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With so many people all over the world still living in various levels of lockdown, we’ve been working hard to provide free, creative project resources for you to keep young digital makers occupied, learning, and most importantly having fun.

Two siblings sit on a sofa looking at a laptop

As a dad of two, I know how useful it is to have resources and project ideas for things that we can do together, or that the kids can crack on with independently. As we head into the weekend, I thought I’d share a few ideas for where to get started. 

Coding and digital making projects

We offer hundreds of self-guided projects for learning to create with code using tools like Scratch, Python, and more. The projects can be completed online on any computer, they are tailored for different levels of experience, and they include step-by-step guidance that quickly leads to confident, independent young digital makers.

animation of butterflies fluttering around a forest clearing
You can code a butterfly garden with one of our ‘Look after yourself’ projects!

We recently launched a new set of beginner Scratch projects on the theme of ‘Look after yourself’, which include activities designed to help young people take care of their own wellbeing while getting creative with code. They are brilliant.

“I am so excited by the [‘Look after yourself’] projects on offer. It couldn’t be more perfect for everything we are navigating right now.”

– teacher in Scotland

We offer lots of project ideas for the more advanced learners too, including a new set of Python machine learning projects.

With spring in the air here in Cambridge, UK, my kids and I are planning on building a new Raspberry Pi–powered nature camera this weekend. What will you make? 

Send a message to astronauts in space

If Earth is getting you down, then how about creating code that will be sent to the International Space Station?

This is where your kids’ code could run aboard the ISS!

As part of Astro Pi Mission Zero, young people up to age 14 can write a Python program to send their own personal message to the astronauts aboard the ISS. Mission Zero takes about an hour to complete online following a step-by-step guide. It’s a fantastic activity for anyone looking to write Python code for the first time!

Make a cool project 

We know that motivation matters. Young digital makers often need a goal to work towards, and that’s where Coolest Projects comes in. It’s the world-leading technology showcase where young digital makers show the world what they’ve created and inspire each other.

Coolest Projects is open to young people up to the age of 18, all over the world, with any level of experience or skills. Young people can register their project ideas now and then create their project so that they can share it with the world on our online gallery. 

It’s a brilliant way to motivate your young digital makers to come up with an idea and make it real. If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out the brilliant projects from last year.

Happy digital making!

I hope that these resources and project ideas inspire you and your kids to get creative with technology, whether you’re in lockdown or not. Stay safe and be kind to yourself and each other. We’ll get through this.

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Idea registration is open for Coolest Project 2021

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It’s official: idea registration is finally open for Coolest Project 2021!

Our Coolest Projects online showcase brings together a worldwide community of young people who make things with technology. Everyone up to age 18, wherever they are in the world, can register for Coolest Projects to become part of this community with their own tech creation! We welcome all ideas, all experience levels, and all kinds of projects.

So let all the young people in your family, school, or coding club know, because Coolest Projects is their chance to be part of something amazing this year!

Taking part is free, and projects will be displayed in the Coolest Projects online gallery for people all across the globe to see! And getting involved is super easy: young creators can start by registering their idea for a project now, leaving them plenty of time — until May — to build the project at home.

To celebrate the passion, effort, and creativity of all the tech creators, we will host a grand live-streamed finale event in June, where our fabulous, world-renowned judges will pick their favourites from among all the projects!

Last year, young tech creators from 39 countries took part in the Coolest Projects online showcase. This year, we hope young people from even more places will share their tech creations with the world!

Skill-building, fun & community

Coolest Projects is a powerful motivator for young people to develop skills in:

  • Idea generation
  • Project design and planning
  • Coding and technology
  • User testing and iteration
  • Presentation

…and they will have lots of fun, be inspired by their peers, and feel like they are part of a truly international community.

Let their imaginations run free! 

Through the Coolest Projects online showcase, young people get the opportunity to explore their creativity and realise their tech ambitions! Whatever they come up with as a project idea, we want them to register so the Coolest Projects community can celebrate it.

To help you support young people to create their projects, we’re running a free online workshop called ‘How to design projects with young people’ on 24 February.

What happens next? 

  1. Once their project ideas are registered, the young people can start creating their projects!
  2. From the start of March, they will be able to complete their registration by adding the details of their project, including either a Scratch project link or a short video where they need to answer three important questions about their project. We’ll be offering online sessions to give them tips for their video and help them complete their showcase gallery entry.
  3. Project registration closes on 3 May. But don’t worry if a project isn’t finished by then: we welcome works in progress just as much as completed creations!

We can’t wait to see the wonderful, imaginative things young tech creators in this global community are going to share with the world!

Sign up for the Coolest Projects newsletter to never miss the latest updates about our exciting online showcase, including the free online support sessions for participants.

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Digital making projects about protecting our planet

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Explore our new free pathway of environmental digital making projects for young people! These new step-by-step projects teach learners Scratch coding and include real-world data — from data about the impact of deforestation on wildlife to sea turtle tracking information.

By following along with the digital making projects online, young people will discover how they can use technology to protect our planet, all while improving their computing skills.

Photo of a young woman holding an origami bird up to the camera
One of the new projects is an automatic creature counter based on colour recognition with Scratch

The projects help young people affect change

In the projects, learners are introduced to 5 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an environment focus:

  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
Screenshot of a Scratch project showing a panda and the Earth
The first project in the new pathway is an animation about the UN’s five SDGs focused on the environment.

Technology, science, maths, geography, and design all play a part in the projects. Following along with the digital making projects, young people learn coding and computing skills while drawing on a range of data from across the world. In this way they will discover how computing can be harnessed to collect environmental data, to explore causes of environmental degradation, to see how humans influence the environment, and ultimately to mitigate negative effects.

Where does the real-world data come from?

To help us develop these environmental digital making projects, we reached out to a number of organisations with green credentials:

Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi
A sea turtle is being tagged so its movements can be tracked

Inspiring young people about coding with real-world data

The digital making projects, created with 9- to 11-year-old learners in mind, support young people on a step-by-step pathway to develop their skills gradually. Using the block-based visual programming language Scratch, learners build on programming foundations such as sequencing, loops, variables, and selection. The project pathway is designed so that learners can apply what they learned in earlier projects when following along with later projects!

The final project in the pathway, ‘Turtle tracker’, uses real-world data of migrating sea turtles!

We’re really excited to help learners explore the relationship between technology and the environment with these new digital making projects. Connecting their learning to real-world scenarios not only allows young people to build their knowledge of computing, but also gives them the opportunity to affect change and make a difference to their world!

Discover the new digital making projects yourself!

With Green goals, learners create an animation to present the United Nations’ environment-focused Sustainable Development Goals.

Through Save the shark, young people explore sharks’ favourite food source (fish, not humans!), as well as the impact of plastic in the sea, which harms sharks in their natural ocean habitat.

Illustration of a shark with sunglasses

With the Tree life simulator project guide, learners create a project that shows the impact of land management and deforestation on trees, wildlife, and the environment.

Computers can be used to study wildlife in areas where it’s not practical to do so in person. In Count the creatures, learners create a wildlife camera using their computer’s camera and Scratch’s new video sensing extension!

Electricity is important. After all, it powers the computer that learners are using! In Electricity generation, learners input real data about the type and amount of natural resources countries across the world use to generate electricity, and they then compare the results using an animated data visualisation.

Understanding the movements of endangered turtles helps to protect these wonderful animals. In this new Turtle tracker project, learners use tracking data from real-life turtles to map their movements off the coast of West Africa.

Code along wherever you are!

All of our projects are free to access online at any time and include step-by-step instructions. They can be undertaken in a club, classroom, or at home. Young people can share the project they create with their peers, friends, family, and the wider Scratch community.

Visit the Protect our planet pathway to experience the projects yourself.

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Coding for concentration with Digital Making at Home

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September is wellness month at Digital Making at Home. Your young makers can code along with our educators every week to create projects that focus on their well-being. This week’s brand-new projects are all about helping young people concentrate better.

Through Digital Making at Home, we invite parents and kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new projects, videos, and live streams every week.

This week’s live stream will take place on Wednesday at 5.30pm BST / 12.30pm EDT / 10.00pm IST at rpf.io/home. Let your kids join in so they can progress to the next stage of learning to code with Scratch!

If you’re in the USA, your young people can join Christina on Thursday at 3.30pm PDT / 5.30pm CDT / 6.30pm EDT for an additional US-time live stream! Christina will show newcomers how to begin coding Scratch projects. Thanks to our partners Infosys Foundation USA for making this new live stream possible.

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Coding for kids and parents with Digital Making at Home

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Through Digital Making at Home, we invite your and your kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new videos every week.

Since March, we’ve created over 20 weeks’ worth of themed code-along videos for families to have fun with and learn at home. Here are some of our favourite themes — get coding with us today!

A mother and child coding at home

If you’ve never coded before…

Follow along with our code-along video released this week and make a digital stress ball with us. In the video, we’ve got 6-year-old Noah trying out coding for the first time!

Code fun video games

Creating your own video games is a super fun, creative way to start coding and learn what it’s all about.

Check out our code-along videos and projects where we show you:

A joystick on a desktop

Build something cool with your Raspberry Pi

If you have a Raspberry Pi computer at home, then get it ready! We’ve got make-along videos showing you:

Top down look of a simple Raspberry Pi robot buggy

Become a digital artist

Digital making isn’t all about video games and robots! You can use it to create truly artistic projects as well. So come and explore with us as we show you:

Lots more for you to discover

You’ll find many more code-along videos and projects on the rpf.io/home page. Where do you want your digital making journey to take you?

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Beginners’ coding for kids with Digital Making at Home

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Have your kids never coded before? Then out Digital Making at Home video this week is perfect for you to get them started.

A girl doing digital making on a tablet

In our free code-along video this week, six-year-old Noah codes his first Scratch project guided by Marc from our team. The project is a digital stress ball, because our theme for September is wellness and looking after ourselves.

Follow our beginners’ code-along video now!

Through Digital Making at Home, we invite parents and kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new videos and live stream every week.

Our live stream will take place on Wednesday 5.30pm BST / 12.30pm EDT / 10.00pm IST at rpf.io/home. Let your kids join in so they can progress to the next stage of learning to code with Scratch!

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