Children at King’s College Hospital sample Raspberry Pi
06 September 2016 - Young people on the children’s wards at King’s have been using Raspberry Pi computers to learn how to code while they are in hospital.
Under the supervision of Glafkos Havariyoun, a Trainee Clinical Scientist at King’s, children and young people who are interested in coding are taught the basics, which includes programming a robot to move.
Rachel Rainey, who has been a patient at King’s College Hospital for six months, has been learning to code in the Schoolroom at King’s.
The 12-year-old from Downham, who was at King’s following a brain haemorrhage, attended Raspberry Pi sessions with Glafkos.
Last year Glafkos Havariyoun took part in an online event to get children interested in science.
He won 'I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!’ - an interactive competition to be school students’ favourite scientist - and has spent the money he won on Raspberry Pi equipment for the King’s Schoolroom.
Rachel has had four Raspberry Pi sessions with Glafkos and is almost at level four.
Rachel said: “I have used Scratch before, which is a simpler online programme for coding, but Raspberry Pi is a step up. Using Raspberry Pi was hard at the start but as you get more into it it’s quite easy really.
“We learned to get the robot to move in different ways and get it to pick up objects.”
Rachel will be going into year 8 in September, and feels she will be ahead of the game when her class start looking at how to code.
Talking about the project, Glafkos said: "I’ve completed a number of sessions with the children, for about an hour each time. I taught them what a Raspberry Pi is, and what coding is. They then started coding with the robotic arm and moving things around, they all picked it up really quickly. I think they all had fun and were very interested in coding and carrying on with it in the future. It’s really important to get children interested in science and how the things around them work."
Raspberry Pi are a series of motherboards the size of a credit card. They perform the same operations as a home computer, and have USB ports to plug in a mouse or keyboard. They are especially aimed at teaching coding to children.
Photo caption: Rachel with her Raspberry Pi certificate
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