Support the Raspberry Pi Faculty Workshop

At Kennesaw State University's College of Computing and Software Engineering, we believe that today's students should learn to understand and create computing technology, not just be consumers of technology. One of the things we do is teach teachers how their students can create with computing technology in a series of Raspberry Pi Teacher Workshops, offered to area K-12 teachers free of charge.  The teachers take home a Raspberry Pi, a single-board computer a little larger than a credit card, and the other equipment they will need to develop lessons for their classrooms.

photo of raspberry pi teacher at workshop

By the end of the summer 2019, nearly 150 K-12 teachers had attended a workshop.  Together, these teachers reach over 40,000 students every year.

Although teachers attend free, expenses are about $250 for each one.  These workshops are funded entirely by individual gifts and grants; there is no tax money appropriated for the workshops.  So, we rely on support from people like you.  You can support one teacher for $250, five teachers for $1,250, or ten teachers for $2,500.  A gift of $25,000 will let us train 100 more teachers and reach 30,000 more students.

If you want to support these workshops, you can donate online.  In "Gift Designation," choose "K-12 STEM Outreach."  If you prefer to contribute by check, make your check payable to the Kennesaw State University Foundation, write “Fund number 310267K12TCH” in the memo area, and send it to Bob Brown, Kennesaw State University, Mail Stop 9036, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta GA 30060. In either case, please also let Bob know by email: because some gifts will qualify for matching.

The KSU Foundation is a Section 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and your gift is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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photo of teacher at workshop

What do the Teachers Learn at the Workshops?

Teachers will be able to describe the Raspberry Pi computer and explain how it can be used in education.  They’ll be able to use the Raspberry Pi to demonstrate physical computing: receiving information and controlling external devices with programming.  Teachers will connect LEDs, buttons, and buzzers, and receive input from temperature, motion, and light sensors.  Working in groups, they will design and build a physical computing project.  They will leave the workshop with the knowledge and skills they need to teach computing with confidence, creativity, and excitement.

How Will Teachers Take What They Learn to Their Classrooms?

Teachers will take away a Raspberry Pi computer and parts kit.  The simplicity of the Raspberry Pi makes it easy to get started, helping students to use basic  digital components and instilling an awareness of programming concepts. When combined with the visual programming tool Scratch, students can even create animations and games on the Raspberry Pi without having to learn code. Once these straightforward skills have been grasped, teachers can then use the Raspberry Pi to set more complex tasks.  The Raspberry Pi is an excellent way for teachers to encourage collaborative, exploratory learning.

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What is a Raspberry Pi, Anyway?

The Raspberry Pi that teachers take home from the workshop is a single-board computer, slightly bigger than a credit card, developed specifically for teaching the principles of computing.  It can be used for programming, but was also especially designed to support controlling and receiving input from external devices.  Unlike school and office computers, the Raspberry Pi is completely open and designed for connection to things like LEDs, buzzers, buttons, sensors, and even motors.  It’s also a real computer that can do real work, from word processing to running robots.  It has a quad-core processor, a gigabyte of RAM, and a Linux-based operating system with a graphical desktop.

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photo of raspberry pi computer component
photo of raspberry pi component

Why the Raspberry Pi?

Today's kids are digital natives; they know more about using digital devices tha n their parents.  The trouble is, devices like the iPad are glued shut.  Students can do what the device was designed to do and no more.  The student is "trapped in the screen."

The Raspberry Pi is literally open for experiential learning.  Students can build projects never imagined by the designers of the Raspberry Pi.  Students learn how to create and understand technology, rather than simply being consumers of technology.

Unlike microcontrollers, the Raspberry Pi is a complete computer in and of itself. Everything happens in one place, which reduces student confusion.

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