Education, space, hacking and explosions – Bett 2015
Last Tuesday the Raspberry Pi education team beetled down to the ExCeL London for Bett, the gargantuan learning technology event. We spent the next four days on our new and fabulous stand talking, educating, demo-ing, entertaining, showboating, dancing and gerrymandering. There were astounding demonstrations of technological ingenuity, feats of strength and curious electro-mechanical devices.
We were happily overrun by what seemed like most of the Raspberry Pi community, many of whom made guest appearances in our back to back schedule. We ran hands-on-workshops in Minecraft Pi, Sonic Pi, physical computing, games programming and much more. We stormed the BETT arena with Astro Pi and Fran Scott’s pyro-computing show. We ran about and hooted. It was a brilliant show. My post-show brain is far too fried to write so here are some of our favourite bits:
My favourite moment was being rushed for Astro Pi leaflets at the end of the opening ceremony of the main arena. I have a great feeling about this whole thing — Dave Honess
Of course it’s not so easy to blow up stuff in the classroom so we made a safe version, the Balloon Pi-tay Popper:
And that was that. Four days of manic educational goodness.
Thanks to CPC for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without them. We had a fabulous stand and a great team across the way to give hardware advice and support.
A huge thanks to everyone who gave talks and demos and who helped out on the stand including: Sam Aaron, Laura Dixon, Martin O Hanlon, Alasdair Davies, Dave Honess & UK Space, Eliot Williams, Paul Beech, Jon Williamson, Phil Howard, David Whale, Tim Mockford, Simon Belshaw, Lauren Hyams, Fran Scott, Mike Horne, Tim Richardson, Jamie Mann, Matthew Parry, Cat Lamin, Tom Sale, Wolfram, Stephen Norbury, Naturebytes, Samantha Lubbe, Barry Byford, Karl-Ludwig Butte, Robin Newman, Andrew Mulholland, Spencer Organ, Geraldine Wright, Stewards Academy Raspberry Pi Club, and Cefn Hoile. If I’ve missed anyone then sorry and please email me!
Lastly a big thank you to all of the teachers, students, parents, educators and anyone else who came to see us. See you again next year!
The last word goes to James Robinson who sums it up nicely:
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the BETT show with the Raspberry Pi Education Team, I’ve been to BETT show a number of times in the past but never as an exhibitor. The four days were brilliant, being able to showcase some of the awesome projects that can be done with the Pi, sharing the FREE resources made by the foundation and helping teachers get hands on experience.
For me one of the highlights was being able to share some of my own pupils’ work and experiences with the Pi, as well as chatting to other teachers about their experiences. It was great to see so many many people from the Pi community coming to support the Foundation team. Conversations and presentations focused on learning in its broadest sense and using technology to create and inspire rather than simply coding.
What most surprised me is the number of people from around the world that had come to the show and were impressed at what we in the UK were doing with the Computing curriculum and in particular the approach the RPF were taking. Many people were surprised at how much the Foundation does for free, including resources, competitions and of course Picademy.
Among my favorite moments were Dave’s excellent explanation techniques; Ben’s nonchalant coffee drinking and Clive’s waste not want not attitude to helium! I look forward joining in next year (if they’ll have me back).
It was a real pleasure to be part of – thanks for having us :-)
It was great fun (though exhausting)!
Yeah I didn’t even leave the house yesterday, had a pyjamas day Zzzz
Looks like it was a fantastic experience! Congratulations to everyone involved. Does anyone know if they post videos of the Bett Arena sessions? I couldn’t find any.
Mike, Jamie and I had a great day. The stand was very busy all day!
It was a really good day on Saturday and it was great to see the passion of the Pi being shared with some many people.
Great to meet some of you on the Friday. It was a hive of activity and buzzing all day long. Thanks for the informative discussions (It’s quite remarkable how the Pi has captured the imagination of such a diverse assortment of people and of all ages). Fingers crossed for the Pi Birthday on the 28th, currently on the waiting list. There’s always next year :-) Thanks again folks.
It was so much fun and a great experience to be part of the back-to-back-schedule. Thank you very much for all the support and all the hard work that was necessary to make it all happen.
The Prisoner, now that was a TV series worthy of the epiphet “It’s great, but huh? What happened? A monkey you say? I don’t think he should be in charge.”
Looks like an absolutely brilliant event. Huge congratulations to Carrie Anne on the award, well deserved (it’s a brilliant book: EVERYONE should have a copy.)
I saw Fran’s explosions on the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures on catchup TV recently. Excellent and loud; spot-on. Reminded me of the time my chemistry lecturer at university told me he’d once done a similar thing and told the lab tech: “fill these balloons with hydrogen. It doesn’t matter if a bit of air gets in.” In turn the lab tech interpreted that as: “fill these with hydrogen. Also add pure oxygen as well.” Apparently THAT was an entirely different level of explosion! He’s still doing mad things.
Homer L. Hazel
I see they brought a baby “Rover” from “The Prisoner”. That was a great series.
Thanks for inviting us to be involved-I really enjoyed myself and feel a bit more confident about standing up and talking in front of other teachers!
See you at the birthday bash!!
Clive Beale — post author
Thanks for coming Cat — it’s teachers sharing stories and good practice that is really helping to drive the new Computing curriculum and computing as an exciting, creative subject.
This was so great, Thanks to all the presenters for your efforts and for the helping out people get skills and Knowledge to move forward.
God bless the hands of your work.