Pioneers

Pioneers – FAQs

WHAT IS PIONEERS?

It’s a brand-new programme for secondary school students aged 11-16 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. Some of our previous winning entries contained no coding at all!

WHO CAN TAKE PART?

Pioneers is open to all students aged 11-16 living in the UK. We hope to open it up to young people all over the world soon! You’ll need to be in a team of between two and five 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. If you don’t have anyone to make a team with or someone to be your mentor, see if there’s a Pioneers Event near you that you can attend to get one!

WHEN IS IT RUNNING?

Cycle 2 2017
Launch date Mon 24th April
Closing date 10th 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 something ‘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.

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 two to five 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.
Once you decide whether your team will run as a Group (meet at a scheduled time), a Squad (meet more informally or online) you can start making something!
There are also several Pioneers Events happening around the country. If you don’t have anyone else to make a team with or you’re pressed for time, these are a great place to meet prospective teammates and mentors, and bash an invention out over two days of hardcore hacking – check the website for details of one happening near you. (If you’d like to host an Event at your local school, library or workshop, get in touch! You’d be our hero.)

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. We will ask you to update your information at submission, just in case you forget.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE AN ADULT MENTOR?

While there are some criteria you’ll need to meet to be a mentor, we love getting a wide range of experience and know-how when it comes to Pioneers! You don’t have to be a digital making genius, but you do need to be willing to learn and help your team find the answers they need. You might be a teacher, someone who volunteers at Code Club or a CoderDojo, a parent, older sibling or just someone who wants to share their love of making stuff with young people!
A few things we need to check, however:
• You are 18 or over and live in the UK.
• You have the time available to mentor your team over the duration of the entire project, whether that be all at once or over several sessions.
• You satisfy the safeguarding guidelines for the venue or organisation you’ll be working with. If there aren’t any, you are responsible to make sure there are reasonable safeguards in place to ensure both yours and the participant’s safety. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A MENTOR?

• Help your team create something awesome by coaching them through obstacles and giving them support, advice, wisdom and inspiration while they make their ideas!
• Act as the main point of contact for your team. This includes handing out the swag when it arrives at your given address. We’ll need your contact information as part of your registration.
• We’ll also contact you about key dates and other important information. We ask you to take responsibility for making sure your team is aware of the info that we share.
• A key part of the Pioneers project is sharing what your team is doing online with the hashtag #MakeYourIdeas. But we also want to make sure that everyone stays safe online. We’ve drafted some guidelines here, so we’d like you to read through them and follow them.

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 pioneers@raspberrypi.org .

CAN A 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 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

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!

WHAT IF I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING TO MAKE?

We know that sometimes looking at a blank page and trying to come up with bright ideas can be tricky, so we’re providing a few starter projects to get your mind moving and build some traction. While these are good place to start your Pioneers make, a winning entry will take this idea and expand upon it, tweak it, spin it and add to it. You won’t win if you just submit our own projects back to us!
Thanks to our friends at the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, we are making bursaries available to teams to cover the cost of these basic kits (one per team). This is for teens that haven’t taken part in digital making activities before, to whom the financial barriers might put them off. If you think your team is eligible, send a short email explaining why to pioneers@raspberrypi.org

WE DIDN’T FINISH OUR PROJECT: WHAT CAN WE DO?

Make a video about it anyway! Why didn’t it work? 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; some of our previous winners explained how massive their fail was and won a prize for that!

WHAT SHOULD BE IN OUR SUBMISSION VIDEO?

The idea of your video is to demonstrate how you went about creating your Pioneers make, even if you ended up failing epically. We want to see everything; warts and all. If you’re recording your make throughout the whole process, you’ll have lots of footage and pictures to choose from when trying to tell us that story.
Think about answering these questions in your video:
• What is your make?
• What does it do?
• How does it work?
• What problems did you come across in your build? How did you find a solution?
Make sure you show your video to someone who isn’t on your team before you submit and see if they can answer the above questions without any help!
Have a look at some of the previous winners to see what they did and get some ideas!

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.

Thanks to our friends at the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, we are making bursaries available to teams to cover the cost of basic kits related to our starter projects (one per team). This is for teens that haven’t taken part in digital making activities before, to whom the financial barriers might put them off. If you think your team is eligible, send a short email explaining why to pioneers@raspberrypi.org

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE PROBLEMS REGISTERING OR SUBMITTING AN ENTRY?

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

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.

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?