My name is Mark (but most people call me MrC) and I’m one of the ‘architects of awesome’ at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. We’re all about making stuff at Raspberry Pi; so we’re looking for active, inventive makerspaces to help bring the next crop of coders and creators online through our exciting new project - Raspberry Pi Pioneers. We recently ran our first cycle, which has been judged and the best projects have been selected. The teams who created them are coming to London for what we’re calling the Pioneers Summer Camp (in collaboration with google at their HQ in London) and will be receiving their prizes at an awards ceremony on the day. We’re taking the teams that win in this cycle, too.
You’re all experts at innovating already; probably because you’ve put in a lot of hours over the years improving and honing your skills with tools, design, re-design, fabrication, and innovation. Maybe you were even lucky enough to have a mentor or master who imparted their wisdom to you over the years and taught you how to be this powerful. Well; we’re calling upon your substantial talents to help mentor a small group (or a couple of groups) of early teens (11-16 years old) who are just starting on their path to being ‘workshop wizards’ like yourselves… if you’re up for it. It isn’t resource heavy and we’re not asking for anything but a few hours of your time and a space where the kids can invent.
We’ve got some brilliant teachers on our team here at the Foundation; according to them, around ten hours of workshop time over three months should be enough for these young inventors to create something great. (You can even run this as a two-day event in your workshop, like this one in Cambridge!) We will set a theme for them to follow at the start of the competition to give them some guidance on what to create, but we need people in the space with them, coaching them toward a final product over the time. We can even help you get together a group of teens to liven up your workshop from a local school or group, if you don’t have any laying around in the back somewhere.
If you think this is something your makerspace or workshop might like to get involved with, we’ll provide help and structure for your volunteers in the form of mentor packs - complete with timed session plans, resources and tips - to anyone in your crew who feels they might like to take a few young apprentices under their wing and show them how a real shed works, from the inside. We will also have online forums where you can post requests for help, will be sharing and boosting any social media posts from Twitter or Facebook and you can contact me at any time should you have any queries or need support.
We’d really love for you to come on board with us and make the program a success, as well as bring some eager young makers into your fold. The UK has one of the biggest and most active maker communities in the world, but without bringing in some ‘new blood’ from time to time, that won’t continue for long. Raspberry Pi wants to harness some of your hometown heroes to bring in the new generation of inventors and innovators and keep the creative community in the UK at the top of its game, while making our community tighter and improving our interactions and communication across the nation.
I’d love to schedule a time to talk to you about the project or meet up to give you some more details. Email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org, skype me at markcalleja or give me a call on 07446659880. You can even DM me on Twitter at @misterc if that’s more convenient.
Looking forward to hearing from you,