Challenge for the Pi programmers

5th October 2012 at 01:00
Who can use a computer the size of a credit card to change the world? Answers on a Raspberry please, says Elizabeth Buie

Schools, colleges, universities and businesses have been set a challenge - to use the Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer, to invent a computer program that will benefit the world.

The competition has been launched in response to IT industry concerns about the current lack of programming skills. Its aim is to increase the number of skilled coders, developers and engineers by targeting schools and further and higher education.

The teams' invention could benefit the environment, for example, or enable the delivery of better care for others, or make information more secure.

Winning schools will receive pound;1,000 and undergraduates and IT professionals win a salaried internship at PA Consulting Group, a global technology firm which is running the competition with Raspberry Pi.

The teams of up to six can use their programming skills and the Raspberry Pi; they will have a budget of pound;50. They can use a limited amount of additional hardware and any software modules must be available as source code.

The Raspberry Pi is a computer that plugs into a television and a keyboard. It can do many of the things that a desktop PC does, such as creating spreadsheets, word processing and playing games, and has been designed so that children can learn programming.

There are five entry categories for teams of up to six (plus one adult mentorcoach in the first two categories):

- Ages 8-11: primary

- Ages 12-16: secondary

- Ages 16-18; upper secondary and further education.

- Undergraduate: higher education.

- Open: for example, IT professionals.

Entrants must be UK-based and register by 26 October. Entries will be scored on creativity, most random component, team passion, simplicity, world benefit and commercial potential.

www.paconsulting.comraspberry-pi.

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