Google, Teach First, and Raspberry Pi

We had some pretty fantastic news yesterday. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, visited London’s Science Museum to give a talk on Why Science Matters, as part of the Alan Turing 100th birthday events which are taking place around the country this year. And he made an announcement which has had us jumping around the office with glee.

As part of Google’s very non-evil drive to improve science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) provision in schools, the company will be sponsoring the charity Teach First to take on more than a hundred “exceptional” graduates for training and subsequent mentoring. These new teachers will also be given bursaries by Google with which to buy classroom equipment. Schmidt used his speech to mention Raspberry Pi as relevant, cost-appropriate classroom hardware for the scheme.

“The success of the BBC Micro in the 1980s shows what’s possible. There’s no reason why Raspberry Pi shouldn’t have the same impact, with the right support,” he said. “It’s vital to expose kids to this early if they’re to have the chance of a career in computing. Only 2% of Google engineers say they weren’t exposed to computer science at high school. While not every child is going to become a programmer, those with aptitude shouldn’t be denied the chance.”

Obviously, we’re chuffed to bits. Teach First estimates that 20,000 children in deprived areas will be reached by this scheme, and we’re really excited to see how the project develops. Read more about the speech herehere and here.