Inspiring the community at pi-top’s Camden summer school

This August, pi-top will work in collaboration with the Caraf centre in Camden, to give young people from the local community the opportunity to participate in maker centered activities.

Attendees of pi-top’s first summer school will have a variety of activities to choose from, ranging from designing a musical instrument to creating their own computer games. Here, young people will collaborate with each other, solve problems and develop key skills for the 21st century.

The caraf centre was established in 1998, by the Camden Black Parents and Teachers Association. It was initially developed to support the parents of black and minority ethnic (BME) as well as disadvantaged children and young people, by providing practical educational, emotional and behavioural support to children and their families.

The community centre for the whole community

It continues to offer this support to the wider Camden community. Akhita Benjamin, the Centre Manager emphasises, “the centre is fully inclusive, all people from different sections of the community are welcome here. I don’t want people to feel that because it has a history of being an African and Caribbean centre, that it’s only for people of African and Caribbean origin. It’s for everybody.”

The Caraf centre welcomes collaborative projects with enterprises to expose the local community to innovative initiatives.

Paying it back

My pre-teaching career began at the Caraf centre in 2008 where I delivered lessons in science and mathematics at the Saturday Mandela Supplementary School. My experiences there led me to formally pursue teaching as a career. I was initially drawn to the centre as it provided affordable holistic education to local students.

Free summer school

Summer schools in London have a reputation for being overpriced and often elitist. Having grown up in social housing, I understand the difficulties faced by young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in finding affordable Summer schools. This year, pi-top wants to provide local young people aged 11-17 in Camden with a summer school alternative – pi-top morning taster sessions, for free.

The free pi-top morning taster sessions will give young people living in Camden a chance to get a first look at pi-top [4] (due for release later this year). The pi-top [4] is powered by the brand new Raspberry Pi 4, and unlocks a world of designing, coding and making.

The taster sessions will run every morning from August 19th – Aug 23rd from 9am – 12pm. They will take place at the caraf centre in Camden and we have a limited capacity of 12 students per day. Each session will be delivered by DBS-approved educators and all participants who successfully complete the taster sessions will be awarded with a £10 Amazon voucher. If you would like your child to come along please drop us a line at tasterweek@pi-top.com to book their free place (residents of the Borough of Camden will be prioritised).

I am passionate about this new initiative and hope that it sparks interest among young people in Camden to develop some of their skills for the future – including critical and creative thinking and collaborative problem solving. For more information on who we are and what we do, visit pi-top.com

About the author

Farida Danmeri – Learning Designer at pi-top

Farida’s work at pi-top focuses on constructionism based design and maker-centered learning environments. She works with educators to create purposeful and authentic learning experiences for students. Farida has over 11 years’ of experience in the education sector including teaching, curriculum development and teacher training in international environments. 

In 2018, Farida worked as the educational scientist at the educational start-up FeedbackFruits in Amsterdam where she worked with university educators to identify solutions to didactic challenges whilst developing learning activities for teachers. 

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