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Google Donates 15,000 Raspberry Pi Computers To UK School Children

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google Chairman Eric Schmidt hopes Raspberry Pi will inspire a new generation of programmers

Google has donated 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers in the UK so that children with a talent or interest in computers will get the chance to code.

The Raspberry Pi is a basic, credit-card sized computer that costs £25, invented primarily to get children interested in programming. It can be connected to a TV via a monitor via an HDMI and can perform most PC functions, such as office applications, Internet browsing and high-definition video playback.

To ensure that the devices are going to be well-used by pupils and teachers, Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation will work with six education partners in the UK, Code Club, Computing at Schools, Generating Genius, Coderdoko, Reach First and OCR. In addition, OCR will provide 15,000 free teaching and learning packs to accompany the Raspberry Pis.

Raspberry Pi donation

Raspberry Pi - MinecraftThe Partnership was launched earlier today at Chesterton Community College in Cambridge, where Eben Upton, co-founder of Raspberry Pi, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt taught a coding lesson and donated the first of the computers to a class of 12-year-old school pupils.

“We hope that our new partnership with Google will be a significant moment in the development of computing education in the UK,” said Upton. “We believe that this can turn around the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skill sets of students applying to read Computer Science at university.”

Schmidt has previously been a vocal critic of the British education system, accusing it of failing to ignite young people’s passion for science, engineering and maths, but hopes that Google’s donation will help change that.

‘’Britain’s innovators and entrepreneurs have changed the world – the telephone, television and computers were all invented here,” he said. “We’ve been working to encourage the next generation of computer scientists and we hope this donation of Raspberry Pi’s to British school pupils will help drive a new wave of innovation.”

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