Pioneers – FAQs

What is Pioneers?

It’s a brand-new programme for twelve- to 15-year-olds who like to make things with digital technology, brought to you by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Every few months, we’ll set out a challenge to inspire you to get creative with technology and share what you make with the world. Everyone who takes part will get kudos and respect. The most impressive, interesting, and ingenious digital makes will win money-can’t-buy prizes and cool swag. What’s not to like?

What do you mean by digital making?

Digital making is the process of creating something using digital technologies. You might be programming a computer, building a website, hacking some hardware, 3D printing physical objects, and lots more besides. It’s more than just checking your email or creating a PowerPoint presentation, though. The clue’s in the hashtag: #MakeYourIdeas.

Will I have to use a Raspberry Pi computer?

No. We think Raspberry Pi computers are awesome (obvs), but that’s just one of the materials available to digital makers. We’re looking forward to seeing a wide range of technologies used in your creations.

Who can take part?

Pioneers is open to twelve- to 15-year-olds living in the UK; if you’re in year 7/Primary 7 but aged eleven, or year 11/S4 but aged 16, then you can still take part in the Pioneers challenges. We hope to open it up to young people all over the world soon. You’ll need to be in a team of no more than four people (AIs and robots don’t count towards your team limit, nor anyone that helps you making the video). Every team needs an adult mentor, who can be anyone sensible that you know who is aged 18 and over.

When is it running?

Cycle 1 2017
Launch date 9th Jan
Closing date 22nd March
Announce ‘Most Awesome’ the week after this

Cycle 2 2017
Launch date Mon 24th April
Closing date 7th July
Announce ‘Most Awesome’ the week after this

Cycle 3 2017
Launch date Mon 18th Sept
Closing date 1st Dec
Announce ‘Most Awesome’ the week after this

Is there a cut-off date for registering my team?

The sooner you register in each challenge cycle, the sooner we can send you support and give you some love. Remember that you have to make a video to submit your make, and that can take a bit of time. But there’s nothing stopping you registering right up to the submission closing date.

You said there would be winners and prizes! How will you choose the winners?

We’re looking for ‘awesome’ which includes creativity, ingenuity, great teamwork, and totally nuts ideas. We’ll pick a bunch out and reward those makers with a money-can’t-buy prize. We’ve given some details of what we’ll be looking for on the submission page.

Will the prize be the same for individuals who enter as for teams who enter?

Yes. Winning participants will each receive the same prize, no matter how big or small their team is.

How do I set up a team?

First of all, you need to make sure that all participants are eligible to take part. Your team of one to four participants needs an adult mentor over the age of 18. The registration process is a simple online form. Your team will then be set up and ready to go.

Can I be in a team and enter a different project as an individual?

Yes. If you have the time and resources to enter more than once, then go for it. However, play fairly and honestly to respect the teams that you’re working with, as well as the teams you’re competing against.

Can we change our team name and team members during the project?

Team members and details are allowed to change throughout the campaign, providing that the details entered on the registration and submission forms are accurate.

Who is eligible to be an adult mentor?

Any person who lives in the UK and is aged 18 or over can be an adult mentor for a team. This could be a parent, teacher, or other responsible adult.

What happens if our mentor no longer wants to take part?

Teams need to have a mentor who is aged 18 or over to take part in the campaign. You can change your mentor during the project if you need to. The new mentor can email .

Can an adult mentor look after more than one team?

Yes, mentors can support more than one team. This may be appropriate for organisations and schools where more than one team is taking part.

Can I enter something that I have made previously?

Yes, previous work can be entered as long as you’ve made a video sharing it with us, so we can see your project in all its glory!

Is there a cost to take part?

There’s no fee to register or to take part in Pioneers. Unfortunately, the Raspberry Pi Foundation will not cover the cost of any resources or equipment that you’ve used or purchased to make your entry.

Who can I contact if I have problems registering or submitting an entry?

Any admin queries should be sent to and we will do our best to help you.

Can I use existing code?

Yes, as long as the original code is credited. We would encourage you to develop your own coding skills, but we will also accept existing code if this is used in an appropriate and honest way.

How many entries can I submit?

You can submit as many entries as you like! Remember that quality counts over quantity, though. If you complete your entry before the submission deadline, we would encourage you to spend any additional time making improvements to your work and crafting your submission video.

We didn’t finish our project: what can we do?

Make a video about it anyway! What took more time than you were expecting? What did you learn in the process? Tell us about your idea even if you didn’t get to finish it; it may still win a prize!

Can I still enter if I know employees of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, or am involved with the Foundation in some way?

Yes, you can still take part. Just follow the guidelines like all other entrants. This is based on awesome ideas, not on who you know!

How will I know that you’ve received my entry?

Entries should be submitted via our website entry form. If the entry is successfully received, an automated email response will be sent to confirm this.

Do I have to be filmed?

We would like to encourage all team members to feature in the video, so that we can see how well you worked together and who did what. Don’t worry if you really don’t want to be filmed, though: just make sure your team tells us what you did. Maybe a puppet version of you could feature?