Google grant to offer 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schoolchildren

News 29 Jan, 2013

Eric Schmidt heads into the UK as web giant promotes IT education.

Google has teamed up with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to provide 15,000 Raspberry Pi Model Bs for schoolkids around the UK.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation will be working alongside web giant and six UK educational partners to find the kids who it think will benefit from having their very own Raspberry Pi.

“CoderDojo, Code Club, Computing at Schools, Generating Genius, Teach First and OCR will each be helping us identify those kids, and will also be helping us work with them,” Liz Upton, communications director at the Raspberry Pi Foundation noted in a blog post.

As well as the gift from Google, OCR will also be creating 15,000 free teaching and learning packs to go with the Raspberry Pis.

“This is a brilliant way for us to find kids all over the country whose aptitude for computing can now be explored properly.

“We believe that access to tools is a fundamental necessity in finding out who you are and what you’re good at. We want those tools to be within everybody’s grasp, right from the start."

The micro-computers will go to individual children rather than schools as the Raspberry Pis may run the risk of “ending up in cupboards”.

Upton said the grant was a good sign that the industry has a visible commitment now to trying to solve the problem of computer science education in the UK.

“Grants like this show us that companies like Google aren’t prepared to wait for government or someone else to fix the problems we’re all discussing, but want to help tackle them themselves,” Upton added.

The foundation said that while the programme is only in the UK at present, it is hoping that other companies will also get involved in funding similar programs in their own countries.