Bett 2018 – Competition

Bett 2018 is here! This year we’ve got a lot of things planned: two stands F480 and G480 full of pi-top fun, several free hands-on workshops over the course of Bett, three Bett talks and our drinks reception on Friday, 26th of January. But it doesn’t end there. Here at pi-topHQ we thought that it would be a good idea to get creative and give you the chance to win a free pi-top modular laptop for learning by making every single day.

This competition is only open during the BETT Show times between 24th-27th January 2018. The competition is open only to Bett 2018 visitors aged 18+.

Come find us at G480 for a change to win a new pi-top!


How to participate*:

  1. Come to stand G480 (in the STEAM Village)
  2. Scan your badge
  3. Grab one of our free pi-top stickers
  4. Get creative and find the best place for your pi-top sticker! Take a quick snap of it and tweet us @GetPiTop using hashtag #NoStormtroopers
  5. The lucky winners will be contacted

*Entries valid only during BETT show times, between the 24th to the 27th of January 2018. The competition is only open to participants aged 18+. T’s&C’s apply.


At the end of each day the pi-top team will choose the three most creative sticker placements posted on social media from all entries of the day! Winners will be announced at the end of the day and prizes will be handed out or shipped to you directly after the event.

  • 1st prize:

1 x the new pi-top with Raspberry Pi 

1 x pi-top swag pack 

  • Runner up prizes:

2 x pi-top swag pack

Competition Rules Overview 

  1. This competition is only open during the Bett Show times 24th-27th January 2018.
    1. Closing date is the 27th January 2018 at 5pm.
  2. The prize competition is open only to Bett 2018 attendees and participants aged 18+.
  3. Multiple entries by the same person will not be accepted.
  4. Valid entries must have complied with all the entry requirements steps.
    1. Get badge scanned by pi-topTEAM
    2. Upload a picture with pi-top sticker to Twitter
    3. Tag @GetPiTop
    4. Use #NoStormtroopers
  5. The prize is non-transferable
  6. The winners are selected by pi-topTEAM
  7.  Any personal data submitted with consent will be kept by pi-top for marketing purposes and will not be shared with any other third party.

pi-top Bett 2018 competition T&C

See you there!


Collaborative Learning by Making and Playing

Here at pi-top we passionately believe that students learn better by making fun things together.

This is why we have made it our mission to give teachers and kids everything they need to embrace STEAM learning collectively and to really bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to life.

What we are not about is using technology for technology’s sake in the classroom. Education technology needs to be driven by creativity, collaboration and making things. And not about adapting consumer tech gadgets and tech toys to the curriculum.

Introducing Creative Collaborative Learning in Schools


Collaborative learning is best demonstrated when we allow students to work on projects they strongly want to solve together. Sounds pretty straightforward, no?

For pi-top, the real value of blending project-based learning with Computer Science and STEAM education in schools is clear. Both kids and teachers love building things together. And the notion that children can say that they’ve built their own laptop computer, robot, music-making machine or countless other cool things is what makes pi-top so special.

There are some deep-rooted systemic challenges for schools and teachers who see the real value in pi-top’s unique flavour of collaborative, project-based physical computing. Not least the fact that we work within an education system rooted in the late 19th century, driven by an antiquated text book and measurement industry that regards teaching as delivery rather than design.

That said, many forward-thinking educationalists are convinced that our education system needs to be based much more on collaboration, making and constructionism. And much less on direct instruction and rote learning.

As Mitchel Resnick, the Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab passionately argues: “The most important thing for us to do is to help children learn to think creatively, adapt to change and come up with innovative approaches to new and changing situations.

“Too often in today’s schools I think we end up valuing the things that we can assess. Instead I think we have to figure out ways of assessing the things that we value.”

The Root of Creative is Create


If we need our children to be creative, critical and socially skilled, then why are they being taught to behave like machines? Schools need to move from the traditional model of education and really embrace creative, hands-on, collaborative student-centred learning.

This is far more than an issue of differing perspectives on educational theory. Designing collaborative learning experiences to encourage learners to make things together and helping them to solve interesting real-world challenges is going to be the key to giving children the skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

As pi-top’s chief education adviser, Graham Brown-Martin, notes: “We are on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Automation. Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing.

“The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. And governments, educators and parents alike must ask the question about how they can prepare present and future generations to thrive in this transforming world.”

At pi-top we are obsessive about creating the best physical computing platform to encourage collaborative learning by making and playing. Constructionism and experiential learning, technology that liberates and inspires, personalised learning that’s focused on the child rather than the instruction.

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?


All of these things are the reason why we get out of bed in the morning. pi-top is about designing inspiring education technology, working closely with some of the world’s most skilled educators to further collaborative learning in every way we can.

Most of all we are energised and inspired on a daily basis by the many start-ups, teachers and groups of students that we work with. These are the people who are liberating learners and teachers alike to work together to solve problems and create new knowledge.

The bottom line is this: if new technology and STEAM education in schools is not encouraging kids to work together, and promoting hands-on learning through play and project-based learning then it is doing something wrong.

We are providing kids an exciting, engaging and playful entrance into the worlds of hands-on computer science, coding, engineering, design, robotics, 3D printing, business management and so much more. Our technology encourages less solitary screen time and more collaborative ‘creativity time’.

pi-top is about inspiring kids to reach their full potential. After all, isn’t that the point of education?

Want to find out more? Visit booth #2453 at FETC or head over to meet our team at Bett on our stands F480 and G480. We’re also hosting three Bett talks:
24th of January at 10:30 (Schools Theatre). Teacher’s voice: Collaborative Problem Solving.
25th of January at 12:45 (Schools Theatre). Learner’s voice: Collaborative Problem Solving.
26th of January at 14:30 (Bett Arena). pi-top’s CEO, Jesse Lozano, keynote  Make project based STEAM learning a reality in your school.

pi-top’s Bett workshops: create, share, collaborate and learn by making

With a limited number of free spaces still available, pi-top’s hands-on STEAM workshops at Bett 2018 are designed and run by our in-house educationalists.

We are on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by artificial intelligence, automation, self-driving vehicles, ubiquitous mobile super-computing and so forth. These advances will create new and unexpected employment opportunities as well as new pressures caused by technological unemployment.


We know that present and future generations will face unprecedented challenges in the form of climate change, population growth, antibiotic resistance and an ageing population.

The vital question we must ask is this: how can we equip our children with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a transforming world? Come to pi-topCORNER (stand G480 in STEAM village) to find out.

Register quickly if you want to join pi-top’s education team at stand G480 in STEAM village for a genuinely fun and enlightening workshop in a hands-on collaborative classroom setting.


The pi-top workshops will focus on solving problems together, applying knowledge and encouraging learners to discuss with others what will work best. We will explore a whole new chapter of computer science, STEAM education and learning by making.

Get involved! And get making, innovating and creating with pi-top’s modular products. Learn how to code in Python and do some real-life physical computing. Build your own circuit with lights, buzzers, sensors and motors and learn how pi-top can facilitate a meaningful learning environment for both students and teachers, addressing curriculum requirements through project-based learning.

Each pi-top workshop will last between 30 and 45 minutes. You will leave with a thorough understanding of how pi-top can help your school to fully embrace and benefit from our learning by making philosophy. We hope you come join us! 

Why Moonhack is not another meaningless attempt to break a World Record

Last year, the Australian Code Club had 10,207 Australian kids participating in their free coding event, Moonhack. This year they are not holding back and they are turning the 15th of August into a worldwide event so kids (and not-so-kids) from all around the globe can take part and collaborate.

The event’s aim is to have as many young people from 8 to 18 years old coding as possible and set a World Record. However, the project goes way further than that: by bringing together people and getting them to code for a specific purpose they want to spread a love for coding and trigger a passion for it in future generations. This aligns directly with pi-top’s mission and beliefs. Learning to code can help young people strengthen their problem solving skills and logical thinking as well as their resilience when dealing with things going wrong. In this digital age that we live we think that it’s important to provide kids with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a world of accelerating advancements, for both their personal and professional lives. Moonhack is a great place to start as it provides a fun environment that can either be structured or treated as an open, creative sandbox, depending on your preference.

blog post


Moonhack is an inclusive event, so is coding. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of their skill level, age, gender or country of residency. Even if you don’t fall inside the age range, you can participate and submit your project, but it will not be counted for the World Record.

At pi-top, we think taking part in the Moonhack is a great idea, especially if you’re looking for something fun to do over the summer holidays so why not sign up on Moonhack’s website and get involved. Once you’re sign up,  you will have access to tips, ideas and project guides. On the 15th of August you will be able to upload your moon-themed project made in Scratch, Scratch JR or Python to make sure it’s included in the official record-breaking project count. For those that prefer to follow a project, do not panic, there are also open source Moonhack projects that you or your kids can complete, with easy to follow instructions for any level of learner.

So go on, sign up. Learn. Play. Create… And break things digitally!

The new pi-topPULSE is here!


Be the first to get yours exclusively from RS Components now



We are welcoming a new accessory into the pi-top product family! 

The new pi-topPULSE add-on board for pi-top or Raspberry Pi was made to learn, play and create! pi-topPULSE is an accessory to help you build fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) projects with music, lights and sound. It has full Amazon Alexa integration, the cloud-based voice service!
Get your pitopPULSE from Allied if you’re based in the US!

What is pi-topPULSE?

You can spruce up your pi-top or pi-topCEED with the pi-topPULSE! pi-topPULSE brings the Arts into STEAM. It is an integrated solution for music, lights and sound. Easy to transport and deploy in any classroom.

It can be used both, as an accessory for the pi-top or pi-topCEED modular rail, and additionally, as a HAT/ add-on board to the Raspberry Pi 3. pi-topPULSE allows all functionalities to be used simultaneously to enhance its application in the classroom. The microphone can be used to record music, as a DIY cloud-based voice service with Amazon Alexa for students to ask computer science related questions and more!

Key features: 


  • 7×7 RGB LED matrix array – so you have 49 lights to code!
  • Speaker and microphone – for your musical adventures and projects
  • pitopPULSE cloud-based voice service integration with Amazon Alexa (Only with Raspberry Pi 3)




It comes fully assembled and ready to go. A suite of python libraries is provided to make usage simple with lots of example programs, demos and pi-top lesson plans (pi-topOS only) available to get you started.



pi-topOS Polaris Update for pi-topPULSE

We have updated pi-topOS Polaris! This release is focused on allowing you to get started using pi-topPULSE, and immediately explore & create your own fun projects. This includes seamless integration with Amazon Alexa – simply log into pi-topDASHBOARD, and follow the on-screen instructions to get set up.

Check out the “Getting Started with pi-topPULSE” worksheet in pi-topCODER to see some hands-on examples of how to interact with the on-board LEDs, microphone and speaker!

For more information, check out the Github page for pi-topPULSE.


What can you use it for? 

There’s a ton of fun projects you can do with your pi-topPULSE. Find some examples below:

  • LED Array
    • Snake
    • Pong
    • Flappy Birds
  • Speaker
    • Sonic Pi to code music
    • General for listening to music
  • Microphone
    • Sample music recording
    • Real-time graphic equaliser (responds to music you’re playing!)
    • Voice recording
  • Combined projects:

game rail

As always a huge thank you to all. We hope you enjoy the new family addition, pi-topPULSE. We’re extremely excited to hear about the creative and innovative projects you create!

With Love,







Intern project: The impact of game-based learning on classroom teaching

Hi all,

One of our interns is currently working on his final project “The impact of game-based learning on classroom teaching”, he has designed a questionnaire on CEED Universe – our educational game. The aim of his study is to assess the way lessons are currently taught in the classroom, and see if games such as CEED Universe can benefit students. For more information on the subject he recommends checking out this e-Book called Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal.

The optimization of learning is very important to us; and so is supporting our pi-top Family members! Therefore, if you have some spare time to support him and fill in the questionnaire by clicking here (should only take a few minutes) – we would all be ecstatic. 🙂

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Extra pi-topCEED acrylic slice colour vote results!

Hi all,

Thank you to all our Indiegogo backers who participated in the latest pi-topCEED extra acrylic slice colour vote! We’ve now got the outcome for you and the results are…



As you can see in the screenshot of the Pie Chart above it was a very close call. However, the prevailing winner is: dark blue!

                                         All (3).jpgAll (6) - Kopie


There we go – the second official pi-topCEED acrylic slice colour voted in by you.

Again, we can’t thank you enough for all your amazing support in our quest to bring affordable hardware and accessible computing to the world.

The new Raspberry Pi 3 is here!

Be the first to get yours from pi-top now!


We are celebrating the 4th Birthday of the Raspberry Pi and the launch of the Pi 3 by releasing a limited number of the brand new pi-topPROTO boards.


We are offering the new Raspberry Pi 3 in two amazing bundles:
1. Raspberry Pi 3 + 8GB SD card (pre-installed pi-topOS)
2. Raspberry Pi 3 + pi-topPROTO + 8GB SD card (pre-installed pi-topOS)

What is the pi-topPROTO board?

You can spruce up your pi-top with the pi-topPROTO! It is our first official add-on board for the pi-top. 

The pi-topPROTO provides full access to all 40 GPIO pins. These pins are the physical interface between the Pi and the outside world.  Additionally, there is a ton of prototyping space for adding cool gadgets (ADCs, real time clocks, motor drivers etc).


It is an add-on board for pi-top‘s PCB Rail that breaks out the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins unlocking unlimited possibilities!


Also, since it is powered from pi-top‘s Hub you have access to 18V, 5V, 3V and an always-on 3.3V (even when pi-top is powered down), with much higher current outputs than the Raspberry Pi alone can give. Here’s a link to an awesome gif!

What about the Pi 3? Key Features:

pi_angled_webThe new Raspberry Pi 3 is built on the latest Quad Core Broadcom 2837 ARMv8 64 bit processor which is faster and more powerful than it’s predecessors! Some noteworthy additions include:

  • Improved power management
  • built-in wireless connectivity
  • built-in Bluetooth

Meaning you can now use all your USB ports freely! For more detailed information please head over to our interactive Infographic!

We are super excited about this beauty and to see what fun projects everyone comes up with in the near future.

Much love,
pi-top Team

How to extract pi-topOS for Mac & Linux

Hi everyone,

We’ve written out two methods for you to extract the pi-topOS!

Method one: Mac and Linux (terminal command method)
Method two:  Mac (graphical method)

These tow solutions are to unzip the pi-topOS file for whoever has downloaded the zip file into the Downloads folder (located in /Users/<username>/Downloads):

Mac and Linux (terminal method): 

  1. Open the terminal application on your computer.

For this tutorials command, we presume that your default location is in your home folder. (see image below)


Image 1: This is where we assume your file to be located for the command.

2. Type out the command (below) into your terminal application:

`cd Downloads && tar xzvf`

and hit Enter to begin extracting the zip file (see image below). Please note that the command it case sensitive – so please copy it exactly as written above!


Image 2: This is what it should look like in your terminal.

Leave the terminal window open until you are presented with a prompt allowing you to enter another command, indicating that the extraction is complete. The image file will have been extracted into your Downloads folder ready to be installed onto an SD card.

Mac (graphical method):

If you are happy to install third party software, the simplest method is to install ‘The Unarchiver’ from the App Store. This will also help for future uzipping of files! If the attached link does not work. Simply open the App Store, search for ‘The Unarchiver’ in the top right, and you should see it appear in the search results (see image below):


Image 3: Depicting App Store with “The Unarchiver” in top left corner.

Click the relevant ‘install’ button to download and install it onto your computer. You may be required to enter your Apple ID and password. At this point, you can return to the Downloads folder in Finder, right click the pi-topOS zip file, and select ‘The Unarchiver’ from the ‘Open With’ toolbar menu (image below):


Image 4: Depicts how to use ‘The Unarchiver’

This will extract the zip file into your Downloads folder ready to be installed onto and SD card!

We hope this helps and you enjoy the new update! 🙂 If you have any questions or feedback on the new pi-topOS update just drop us an email at

All the love to you amazing people.

Your pi-topTEAM

Pre-announcement: pi-topOS

Hi everyone,

New year, new features! 2015 was an intense year for the Dev Team at pi-top. Our small team have worked hard to improve the operating system (OS). Monday we will be releasing the update to all pi-top family members. Keep an eye out!

Have a great weekend making!


pi-top Team