Raspberry Pi’s “Picademy” Comes to the U.S., Brings Coding Confidence to Teachers

Although the Independence Day holiday has just ended in the U.S., teachers and students are already looking ahead to “back to school” season.Picademy Logo Raspberry Pi Foundation

For students, that means buckling down on their summer reading lists and gathering a locker-full of new school supplies. For teachers, that means embarking on the intensive work of preparing their classrooms — and their curricula — for the academic year ahead.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s “Picademy,” a series of workshops for teachers who want to learn to use the Raspberry Pi computer in their classrooms, is coming stateside to help them do just that.

The Picademy program dovetails with the mission of the Raspberry Pi Foundation – boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) acumen and skills among students in the U.K. – and beyond.

The effort starts with helping teachers get comfortable with code.

The goal is to empower them to use the Raspberry Pi computer – a $25, bare-bones computer that’s ideal for tinkering by beginners – as a tool for computer science education in their classrooms, at any level.

“We are delighted to bring the very popular Picademy teacher training program stateside,” said Matt Richardson, product evangelist for the U.K.-based Raspberry Pi Foundation. “This pilot represents the start of more support for U.S.-based educators who want to use Raspberry Pi in the classroom, library or makerspace.”

Programming, code-writing, problem-solving and project-based learning are all part of the hands-on curriculum for teachers looking to up their game with the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Foundation said that it’s set to pilot a USA-based Picademy program next year in partnership with the Mountain View, Calif.-based Computer History Museum.

The kickoff program brings together 25 teachers for a free, two-day workshop (no experience required) to “discover practical ways in which Raspberry Pi can support and further their use of technology” in their classrooms. It will be followed by three additional Picademy USA workshops across the U.S., with the goal of training 100 teachers.

The idea is to help them get comfortable with using the boards — which feature a Broadcom processor at their core — as tools in their own STEM lesson arsenals. Through Picademy, they also get access to teaching resources, lesson plans and access to a rich community of like-minded Raspberry Pi-Certified Educators from around the globe.

To date, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has trained some 250 teachers in the U.K., with designs on doing additional outreach to many more over the next year or so.

Teachers can sign up for the workshops here and sign up for email updates here.