A student reports on the miniature wonders of Marlborough Area Makerspace’s second Raspberry Jam dayOrganised by the Marlborough Area Development Trust, the town's second Raspberry Pi day (Sunday, May 20) saw fifty people coming to grips with coding workshops - all the way from how to get started with your raspberry pi through to robotics and image taking.
Many other visitors just browsed the demonstrations - including the Bloodhound SSC stand. (In case you have not caught up with the Bloodhound, SSC stands for 'supersonic car'.)
Here's a report from a St John's student - twelve year-old Scott Granger:
When I became interested in coding, I found out about the Marlborough Area Makerspace. They hold a club on Fridays at my school (St John's Marlborough) where I have learnt lots about 'digital making'.
I already knew a little about coding through having done some Scratch projects, but this club took my knowledge to a whole new level. On Sunday (20th May), the Marlborough Area Makerspace held a free "Raspberry Jam" in the Marlborough Town Hall - a coding and robotics event, focused on the micro computer, the Raspberry Pi.
There was a great turnout and it was a great way to let the local community know about the various aspects of coding and how it impacts daily life. There were stalls containing coding spots where you could sit down and code - either something quite straightforward like coding traffic lights in a sequence or the more complex task of coding semaphore flags, image taking, remote control robotics, and a stand explaining the Bloodhound Supersonic Car - which were all based on the Raspberry Pi.
On the Bloodhound stall, the volunteers from the program showed me 360 degree videos of the car on a test run, going about 210mph. They also gave away posters and stickers and had a slot car racing circuit, streaming back data from the cars, to Raspberry Pi's, where anyone could analyse top speeds and lap times, just like the real Bloodhound!
This activity was really good as it explained basic principals suitably for young children to adults. The Robot area was full of excitement, with again, lots of adults and children using quick little robots and adapted toys such as a Dalek and R2D2, with wheels and balloons, to see who could pop whose first, whilst also having volunteers explain how the robots work and how they are made.
There was also the chance of winning a robot making kit (known as a camjam edu kit - an £18 robot making kit) by entering a free raffle. The fact the tickets were free really shows how dedicated the Marlborough Area Makerspace are to helping others code and create.
There were always people on hand to provide guidance, advice and tips - so whether you had no coding background or a coding guru you could enjoy looking around.
All in all, I recommend the next time you see a date for one of these events, you make a note in your diary and come along, as it's worth a try!