Shakespeare Rocks!

We’ve been using a Y6 creative programme to link programming with literacy through digital making.

Songs to code to alongside insults to sling!


A Shakespearean school production gave the impetus to manipulate lists of data in a CSV format using Python to build a random insult generator.

Fab resource link from the Raspberry Pi Foundation below, and intuitive enough for groups to follow.


Click to launch the resource from

Bit of a favourite:

“You beslubbering earth-vexing canker-blossom”


Shakespeare rocked so much that we used it for the workshop at Leeds Raspberry Jam in June.

More insults in the digital making 😂


Maker aspirations and inspirations

PiParty was brilliant and another reminder of the strength of community in supporting and inspiring digital makers; experienced makers or those dipping a toe into projects.

Got me reflecting on my own motivations for learning, and learning from others, and took me back to the first ‘YESSSSSSSSS’ traffic light moment as I prepped a course for teachers the following week.

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And of course a chance to see new lights and hats for project inspirations, and a bag of Blink! to take back home to bling something up!

Quite often new ideas emerge from working with young makers and their teachers in schools, or at community Jam events.

It’s always 2-way, and hearing 6 year olds talking about ‘amazing’ Raspberry Pi and realising some of it’s potential makes the future of digital making look very bright indeed 😀

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Wondered about the wonders of Pi? STEM to STEAM just got large scale in Hull!

Raspberry Jams are community events organised to support knowledge share, learning new skills, gleaning new ideas and meeting other like-minded digital makers using Raspberry Pi.

In Raspberry Jam group in Hull continues to grow and expand with new ideas and new projects.  This month we held our first event in the city centre.


The first Raspberry Jam in Hull was hosted at Kingswood Academy in November 2014. Since then, Malet Lambert became hosts in April 2016 and the most recent event was held at Central Library on Albion Street.

This city centre location has allowed us to test out a new low power network being installed across Hull, as part of the Connected Hull project, and to launch some additional exciting STEM challenges.


More details to follow soon…watch this space.


Details of the next Raspberry Jam event?

Join us in Hull to make, learn, share, tinker and invent together at the next Raspberry Jam on Saturday 22 April 2017.


Everybody’s welcome, with or without your own mini computer, and it’ll be a great way to find out more about the wonders of Raspberry Pi.

The Yorkshire Mission to Mars – Saturday 12th March ’16

Just a few snippets from a fantastic day for family STEM learning during British Science Week.

Full blogposts from the event are at Ground Control’s website here, as 90 people joined us at the launch.

An amazing collaborative day as the Huddersfield and Leeds Raspberry Jam communities joined through a Space themed Jam – The Yorkshire Mission to Mars.

Digital making activities with Raspberry Pi:

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Launching Raspberry Pi, SenseHat and the BBC micro:bit up to Mars with Pete:

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Getting unplugged with Space themed STEM challenges

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For more details click on the Whippet in Spaaaace below, who was kindly created for the event by Amy:

Next date for the diary?

A Raspberry Jam in Hull on Saturday 23 April and Leeds on Wednesday 4th May.

Ending the year with wearable sparkles

Seems fitting that after a year of deconstructing dance and concentrating on Tim Ferriss’s ‘material over method‘ approach that 2015 ends with final sparkles in the form of wearable tech with Codebug.

And with so many projects focused on inclusivity and participation, it’s been great to see new and emergent collaborations nurtured to share knowledge and projects.

Reflecting on Purpose before tech or vice versa this week, I’ve realised that during the year my intentions have differed through defined purposes.  And actually, I’ve probably learnt more about learning through computing with unfinished projects, collaborations and planning possibilities. Very much a personal fascination during MakerEd research observations.

Dance was different; very much so.  Learning analytics supported a focus looking at data to inform and giving me choices to make decisions impacting on my own performance.  Context and environment became the dance mantra when we realised the significance of these factors with my own learning.

Recognising the trip switch in my head that says ‘no more; data & info overload’ proved one of the more valuable tools supporting learning and teaching.  Both styles adapted significantly, on occasions, after becoming dependent on my afternoon’s work activities.  Moreover, repetition as a pedagogical approach finally nailed the spin turn 🙂

Next steps for 2016?

More projects exploring Learning Analytics in a school environment start in January.  If the approach impacted on my performance, then how can it be utilised in a school setting?  Can data, or rather which data (I’m not meaning the 5 A*-C stick), really impact on educational performance?  More so, what about impacting on students’ learning in primary or secondary school environments?  Can it?

Community learning events with Raspberry Jam also continue in Leeds on the first Wednesday in the month. Link here to the  6th January event at Swallow Hill Community College.


Raspberry Jam in Leeds

And there’ll be more news coming from the MakerEd Leeds research project too, as another school participate and more activities emerge.

Our blog is also live, now : )


Leeds Raspberry Jam – December 2015 

Another Raspberry Jam, opening the doors with our friends at Swallow Hill Community College, to their community and an open invite to everyone interested in learning together with Raspberry Pi.

As we move through the months with our regular diary fixture, it’s lovely to see how we’re using the time, space and community to learn what we want to learn and share what we can. Perhaps more pertinent is the chance to learn what’s possible to learn and building the confidence to create it.

With such a diverse range of interests, backgrounds and specialisms joining together we’ve realised that anything’s possible if we ask the right question. Or to find out what that question should be.

Collaborations and support between software & hardware developers (work wise or through outside interest), teachers, children, technical, IOT & data specialists, members of the Raspberry Pi community (old & newbie) and families lend themselves to a warm and informal space in which to explore.

And that’s also the welcome for people coming along for the first time to see what’s on offer and what’s possible for them. Drop in and find out!

We plan a workshop activity and bring along resources and kit to share, but there’s always a choice to make and some prefer to make progress on an existing project.

This month we set up Sense Hats from the Astro-Pi project on our Raspberry Pi mini computers. With the timing of Tim Peake’s imminent launch with the Principia mission, it’s exciting times.

A game making start to the Jam

Fantastic to see how this project created endless opportunities to explore. For some it was the IOT and data element that was of interest, for some teachers it was STEM creativity ideas and for most it was a time to use the same tech that was about to launch to board the ISS – wow!


For our youngest member it was the spark to tempt him away from his Scratch comfort zone (more expert zone) and rig up the sense hat with Python. That also gave us an opportunity to get mischievous with the sensors!

And in what’s become the traditional ‘Leeds Raspberry Pi-Hi’ there’s time at the end to share projects and discoveries…….”Here’s what I did with my sense hat”.

LEDs, camera, action

We also discovered the delights of activities linking Raspberry Pi & electronics with Chris. Those first time LED moments are memorable; from that we also tinkered with lights, lanterns and festive decorations.  No expense spared here with a light triggered in a coffee cup!

Strictly live at the Jam!

Our returning media moguls came with a variety of projects suitable for every media eventuality. We took a peek at their live streaming set up and even managed a few minutes of It Takes Two 💃

Also of interest to the group were the opportunities for music selection with an intuitive set up using Sonic Pi.  No festive tunes though, only the selection chosen by our developers.

Leeds Jam playlist in the pipeline, me thinks?


A PiZero’s not just for Christmas!

Of course with the best laid plans come the finest Plan Bs and sometimes with the most exciting surprises, so I’m never too precious about my planned workshops! This time it was in the form of the PiZero launch, it’s possibilities and the chance to ditch a formal activity and plan.

We were lucky enough to gain some sponsorship for a festive raffle and here’s one of our young members sharing her excitement at winning her very own PiZero.

She’ll be back next month to share a project that she’ll plan with her dad (rumour has it that he’s hacked his own Space Invaders game with a Pi – next month too?).

Should’ve known we’d have some creative examples of self-built PiZero cases coming through the doors last week!

Great to see ideas and inspirations sparked through chat around such a small computer to ignite big ambitions.

Lego Two

What’s coming next through the doors?  I have no predictions – I still stand by describing a Raspberry Jam as an exciting episode of the Antiques Roadshow!

Lego Three

So what’s the plan for next month?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again at Swallow Hill Community College in West Leeds. Grab a free ticket by registering here for Wednesday 6th January 2016.

Sharing plans

I’ll add a workshop for those who want to learn together and I know already there’ll be a couple of new projects unveiled for the first time.  I’ve added a piano top to my wish list so might tinker with that and we’ll have returning friends with reviews and thoughts on Minecraft resources.

As ever there’ll be Raspberry Pi to set up for the first time to explore what it’s all about and space and friendly guidance should you join us with a project to move forward.

See you next year 😄

Link to full photo gallery

Leeds Raspberry Jam – 7th October 2015

We had our first regular Raspberry Jam in Leeds this week, which was kindly hosted by our friends at Swallow Hill Community College in Armley.  The full calendar’s here with links to the (free) ticket pages for each monthly Jam.

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Together we spent a little time exploring what we all wanted to learn and what we could share with other Raspberry Pi enthusiasts (and wannabe Pi-Pioneers) over the coming months.

Between us we were shared our questions, experiences and learning intentions. That ranged from wanting to know what a Raspberry Pi was, through learning more programming with Python and wanting to grapple with a project focused on the principles of the Internet of Things.


Some of us had definite plans for specific projects like this weather station in a balloon below and (not wishing to show bias, but….) my personal favourite:

“I want to make a biscuit thief detector with the Raspberry Pi, motion sensor, breadboard and wires I have”


We’ll be encouraging more people from the community, and beyond, to Jam with us as we move through the calendar and use the time and space in true Raspberry Jam fashion to encourage collaboration and share the excitement of Raspberry Pi possibilities.

Anybody and everybody can join us, as and when.  Just grab a ticket and let us know you’re joining the fun.  You can bring along your own Raspberry Pi or come along and use one of ours for the first time.


This week we got started with our Raspberry Pi project kits and together started to invent new games and hack others’ using Scratch and Python.

As a group of enthusiasts from the Raspberry Pi community, school (Y4 upwards), university, librarians, parents of children with an interest in what’s going on, teachers, school supporters & educators, friends with technical and computing backgrounds…….we were all able to throw something into the ideas pot.

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We also wanted to show some of our own projects in a really informal way, and now have our ‘Raspberry Hi’ share slot courtesy of Katharine’s new snappy name.

Now we he have got Leeds in our name but it was great to welcome Jammers from across the city and also Wakey, Cleckhuddersfax and York.  There I go again with the localisms……

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Here’s Ivan, our current youngest Jammer, showing us what he’d learnt through the Raspberry Pi version of Minecraft.  The lightbulb moment of realising and sharing plans to rebuild and create enormous structures with a little help from Python!

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Our own Geek Gran, Anne, joined us to talk about her learning journey with Python and Raspberry Pi HATs and to share her activities through Code Club.  

She’s also blogged about the Leeds Jam here.

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And there’s always got to be a robot roundup to see what’s happening in Roboworld!

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We’re looking at fun with Pi-Cams next month, and learning about what’s possible with photography projects in our hands-on part of the evening.  We’ll also get to see the time-lapse examples already taken by some in the group including a journey from Leeds to Spain and the nocturnal adventures of the fox and the……I won’t spoil the ending.  We might even borrow the Looney Tunes photo booth from a group of students currently creating in another city.

Fancy coming along and joining us on 4th November?

Usual place – Swallow Hill Community College in Armley

Usual time – 6 – 8pm (come along at 5.30 and you can help me set up!)

Usual date – first Wednesday of the month

See you then 🙂

Grab a ticket here 

Jam in Leeds poster

Next Jam 4th Nov: Click the image for a ticket link

Link to full photo gallery here.

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