Raspberry Pi Resources: coding for all ages

Following a conversation in the Pi Towers kitchen about introducing coding to a slightly older demographic, we sent our Events Assistant Olivia on a mission to teach her mum how to code. Here she is with her findings.

“I can’t code – I’m too old! I don’t have a young person to help me!”

I’ve heard this complaint many times, but here’s the thing: there are Raspberry Pi resources for all ages and abilities! I decided to put the minds of newbie coders at rest, and prove that you can get started with coding whatever your age or experience. For this task, I needed a little help. Here, proudly starring in her first Raspberry Pi blog, is my mum, Helen Robinson.

Helen looks at the learning resource.

My mum is great, but she’s not the most tech-savvy person. She had never attempted any coding before this challenge.

Coding spinning flowers

To prove how easy it is to follow Raspberry Pi resources, I set her the challenge of completing the Spinning Flower Wheel project. She started by reading the Getting Started leaflet that we use on the Raspberry Pi stand at events such as Bett or Maker Faire. You can find the resource here, or watch Carrie Anne talk you through the project here.

She then made her flower pot (which admittedly is more of a heart pot, as I only had heart stickers).

Helen and her flower pot

My mum, with her love-ly heart pot.

She followed the resource to write her code in Python. Then, for the moment of truth, she pressed run. Her reaction was priceless.

Olivia’s mum makes a motor work

Uploaded by Raspberry Pi on 2017-04-19.

She continued coding. She changed the speed of the wheel and added a button to start it spinning. Finally, she was able to add her flower heart pot to the wheel.

Olivia’s mum completes the spinning flower resource

Uploaded by Raspberry Pi on 2017-04-19.

Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson

Although I sat with her throughout the build, I merely took photos while she did all the work. I’m proud to say that she completed the project all by herself – without help from me, or from “a young person”. I just made the tea!

We had so much fun completing the resource, and we would encourage all those curious about coding to give it a go. If my mum managed to do it – and enjoy it – anyone can!