Christmas Comes Early for Some Computer Science Students at Winton Community Academy

The year 10 GCSE group received 12 Raspberry Pi computers to help them with their programming and assignments.

The low cost computers are the same size as a credit card and plug into a monitor or TV and use a standard keyboard and mouse.

“The school has bought six of the devices and the Raspberry Pi Foundation funded the others,” said teacher Donna Robertson. “Despite being small they can do anything a desktop computer can do like browse the internet, play high definition video as well as word processing and making spreadsheets.”

The computers all arrived at the school in several bags securely wrapped up. “It was like Christmas had come early,” said student Alex Black. “It was really exciting knowing that there were computers in the bags on the desk in front of us.”

Findley Searing said, “It soon became obvious that we had to make them as the cover was in one bag the machine in another and even the plug came in 3 parts’,

“I got really nervous at this point as Mrs Robertson said that we had to be so careful or we could break the machines, this did not help my shaky fingers when fitting the computer board into the case,” said Kian Jackson.

Once the keyboard, mouse and screen were connected the students were able to turn the machines on.

“The first thing was to select a Linux operating system which we would never be able to do on a normal school machine. We then watched it load,” said Finley. “After we had followed Mrs Robertson’s excellent instructions the operating system was up and running and we were able to use the machines. Our computer in a box was ready and the satisfaction that we got was fantastic.”

The words ‘awesome, cool, fun, interactive and fab’ were used by James, Stoil, Lewis, Mohammed, Ashley, and Ryan when Mr Thomas the head teacher came in to get up to speed on the latest technology in the school.

“Now we have them we can use them for programming in scratch and python, we can set up a network and as the cases are see through we can see all the computer components and wires every time we use them. We can go on the internet and therefore access all the GCSE course materials. It has made the lesson more fun, interactive and definitely a toy I would like for Christmas”, says Callum Whiting.

Photo caption: Front row Left to right – Stoil Todorov, Mrs Robertson, Findley Searing, Ryan Willoughby, James McCabe,

Back row left to right – Kian Jackson, Ashley Bentham, Muhammad Boutrif, Callum Whiting, Lewis Owen, Alex Black 

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