Education

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.

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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!

BETT 2017

Our review and reflections of BETT 2017!

 

Our time within the mighty Excel centre at this year’s BETT Show seems like yesterday. It wasn’t, but we’ve only just come down from the high that was a great four days at the world’s leading education technology show.
Here we are, we look impressive, right? Our stand showcased the possibilities of pi-top, including interactive exhibits, such as Sense-Hats, a self-built heart rate monitor and plenty of pi-top laptops and pi-topCEEDs for visitors to try out and play with.

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One great thing we enjoy every year at BETT is having the opportunity to meet such a diverse range of new people, and this year was no different. From teachers and students to education and technology media, it’s great to introduce pi-top and our movement to the education space. We even had royalty approach us – Prince Andrew, the Duke of York swung by our stand too! Our co-founder Jesse also caught up with the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones to talk about pi-top. Here’s a tweet he posted of Jesse afterwards:

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Winning pi-tops

We also ran a competition on our stand which gave visitors an opportunity to win their own pi-top prize packages, including pi-topCEEDs, speakers, laptops and more. Entrants had to simply take a photo of themselves within the big pi-topCEED frame, and tweet it. Here’s a selection of tweets from the event:

@GetPiTop thanks for taking me through the kit #pitopforSTEM fingers crossed for the win!

Twas great sampling the pitop: it may just be the game-changer we’ve been waiting for @Getpitop #pitopforstem

@GetPiTop with #pitopforstem fun and games at#Bett2017

Went to @GetPiTop and all I got was this awful picture taken!! #pitopforSTEM

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pi-top winning!

We were all so delighted when pi-top was named ‘EdTech Startup Company Of The Year’ at the BETT Awards 2017. It was a great way to end the first day of the show, and after all the hard work our team has put in the run-up to the event, and the rest of the year!

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Jesse’s speech

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The penultimate morning of the show saw our co-founder & CEO Jesse take to the stage for his speech on “Making STEAM a reality for the classroom” in the main BETT Arena. The interactive speech tested the audience’s attention span by encouraging them to track specific pi-top images with a specially designed pi-topPROTO board.

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On the same day, we also had Cyber Ready Girls with Baker McKenzie join our stand. The four young girls were playing on CEEDuniverse and were accompanied by our friends  Dyann Heward-Mills from Baker Mckenzie, Robert Dowell from the National Museum of Computing and Pat Ryan, the founder of Cyber Ready Girls. It was a great pleasure to have that inspiring troupe on the stand.

BETT Show seems to get bigger and bigger each year and attracts a range of influencers from the industry. This year, in particular, we saw an increase in international attendees, which is great. For us, it’s the best place to see how education is evolving. BETT is really exciting to be at and it enabled us to see just how far we’ve come since the last show, both as a company, and the range of new products and improved pi-topOS.
Thanks again to everyone who supported us the event, and everyone we met a spoke to over the four days. Another great BETT Show, we’ll see you next year!

pi-topTEAM

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Keep to the beat! – Heart Rate Monitor Tutorial

Last tutorial in our LED trilogy! If you haven’t – then check out our Light It Up!-LED Tutorial and CEED Universe Compass Tutorial.

Components needed: 

  1. ADS1115 x 1
  2. LDR x  1
  3. LED x 1
  4. 510 kΩ Resistor x 1
  5. 5 Ω  Resistor  x 1
  6. Wires x 11
  7. pi-topPROTO board x 1

Background: This project was created with hearts in mind. It demonstrates and reveals a technique to measure the heart rate by sensing the change in blood volume in a finger artery while your heart is pumping! Compared to our last two tutorials, it is a bit more complex; however, it is perfect for an inter-curricular class or a fun family project for the weekend.  


Step 1: In this tutorial you will learn to make a heart-rate-monitor with an LED circuit on the pi-topPROTO board.

Step 2: The diagram below illustrates how the components should be soldered onto the pi-topPROTO board:

heart_rate_monitor_schem

 

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Step 3: To build this circuit on the pi-topPROTO board, solder the LED to the board.

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Step 4: Next solder in the resistor and complete the circuit using a wire.

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Step 5: Now solder in the LDR (Light Dependent Resistor), its accompanying resistor and complete the circuit using another wire.

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Step 6: The next step is to solder in the analogue to digital signal converter (ads1115) into the pi-topPROTO board.

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Step 7: Connect the ads1115 to the 5V power supply.

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Step 8: Connect I2C connections (SCL and SDA) on the ads1115 to pin 5 and pin 3 on the board respectively.

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Step 9: Connect the ADDR pin to the GND pin on the ads1115 so as to define the I2C address on the ads1115 as 0x48.

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Step 10: The next step is to move onto the python code! This can be done on your pi-topCEED. After you have booted your pi-topCEED up: click on the Main Menu, accessories and then open up a terminal window as seen in the screenshot below.

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Step 11: Type in “sudo idle &” into the terminal to open up idle 2 which will allow you to create a run python scripts on the Raspberry Pi!

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Step 12: Once the python shell environment has opened up, click File and then New to open up a new text editor. This text editor is where you will type your code, save and run the project! Once you run the project on the text editor the results will be displayed on the python shell environment that was previously mentioned.

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Step 13: The next step is to now copy the code below in the python text editor:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

import matplotlib.animation as animation

import time

import Adafruit_ADS1x15

import pylab

import numpy as np




from scipy.interpolate import interp1d

from scipy.signal import butter, lfilter, filtfilt




# from scipy.interpolate import spline

#get plot and draw axes

fig = plt.figure()

ax1 = fig.add_subplot(1,1,1)

moving_y = []

xaxisthings = []




startTime = time.time()




secondsShown = 5

secondsCalc = 5

plotHz = 20                        

totalWidth = plotHz*secondsShown

Oversample = 5




allY = [0]*plotHz*secondsShown

allX = [0]*plotHz*secondsShown

       

#function to set the next y value

def new_y_value():

   time.sleep(1/(plotHz * Oversample))

   return Adafruit_ADS1x15.ADS1115().read_adc(0, gain=16)

              

def animate(i):

   #add a new y value, and remove the first

   totaly = 0

   totalx = 0

   count = 0

   for j in range(secondsCalc * plotHz * Oversample)

       totaly +=new_y_value()

       totalx +=time.time()-startTime

       count+=1

       if count == Oversample:

           allY.append(totaly/Oversample)

           allX.append(totalx/Oversample)

           count = 0

           totalx = 0

           totaly = 0




   while len(allY) > (secondsShown*plotHz):

       allY.pop(0)

       allX.pop(0)

   

   ax1.clear()




   ax1.plot(allX,allY)

ani = animation.FuncAnimation(fig, animate, interval=1)

plt.show()

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Step 14: After creating your code, click on “File” and then “Save as” to save the code that you have written so that you can come back to it and run the code whenever you want!

Step 15: After saving your code, put you finger in between the LED and the LDR and press F5 to run your code and see your heartbeat displayed across the screen as seen in the image below!

Heart Rate Monitor.png

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!
pi-topTeam

Hello world: pi-top starts blogging

Hello world,

Welcome to our new blog. We are pi-top. We want to see a world of makers creating real hardware product. Our aim is to make affordable technology that anyone can use to learn, play and create!

“Ryan and I started all this in my living room in London. We had days when we had to choose between buying more 3D printing filament or buying something other than pasta and tomato sauce to eat (we chose the filament every single time). Now we have a great office in London and a team of twelve people. Without our backers and community, our lives would be so different and much less fulfilling, and for that we are forever grateful.” – Jesse, pi-top CEO

On the 8th of December, 2014, pi-top closed its first Indiegogo campaign with 217% of the initial funding goal. If you haven’t heard, the pi-top is a Raspberry Pi powered DIY laptop. Since the successful campaign, we have improved the design, software and hardware of the pi-top to ship worldwide to 47 countries!

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We are very proud of what we’ve achieved with our backers help. From our CTO Ryan Dunwoody’s five month stay in Shenzhen to get pi-top off the production line and into everyone’s homes, to our pride in the improvements we’ve made over the last year. (Image left: Ryan with the first production pi-top in China)

 

 

“When people give you their trust to produce something new, you must give everything else up.” – Jesse, pi-top CEO

The rewards are immeasurable – as you can observe via the images (below) sent to us by our backers through our Twitter.

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Now, as we move into our second year, we hope we will be able to continue improving, continue making, and continue bringing pi-top and our newest product, pi-topCEED, to as many people as possible.

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(Image: left green pi-top and right grey pi-topCEED)

We will be using this blogs for Our Story – to make updates on our recent progress, some Food for Thought – covering industry topics (STEM, Education, Entrepreneurship, etc.), and Building – where we’ll be writing about some cool projects for pi-top and pi-topCEED. We hope you enjoy!

Upwards and onwards,

Your pi-top Team