PA Consulting has today launched its seventh annual Raspberry Pi competition to inspire the innovators of the future. The innovation and transformation consultancy is challenging pupils from schools and colleges to use their ingenuity to invent something that will transform travel and transport using a Raspberry Pi, the credit-card-size highly capable computer.
With this year’s theme of transforming travel and transport, students have the opportunity to create solutions to tackle security issues, create a better experience for people with physical mobility challenges, or create the perfect yet least environmentally damaging journey.
The competition is open to the following categories:
- PA’s primary school award: academic years 4-6
- PA’s secondary school award: academic years 7-11
- PA’s sixth form and college award: academic years 12-13
The winning team in each category will receive £1,000 prize money. The first 100 teams to enter will receive a free Pi 3 starter kit. Some winners from previous years have used their prize money to invest in new innovations and gone on to achieve commercial success. A recent winning team developed an eye-tracking system to control a computer, aimed at helping people with mobility issues. The team used their prize money to develop a project aimed at medical rehabilitation: a muscle monitoring system combined with a robotic exoskeleton, controlled by a Raspberry Pi computer.
Anita Chandraker, who leads global innovation services at PA Consulting and is the sponsor for the competition, says: “Not only have we always been astounded by the inventions that previous finalists have put forward, but also their sheer commitment and enthusiasm.
“At PA, our overriding focus is on finding ingenious ways to bring real transformation to our clients. Our Raspberry Pi competition is a core part of our ongoing work to use innovative thinking to build a positive human future. The initiative gives students as young as eight a fun opportunity to gain hands-on experience of computer programming and engineering – valuable skills which have been declining in the UK in recent years.”
Anita continues: “Schools all over the UK have been taking a significant interest in coding following its introduction on the school curriculum. More than ever, it is important for young people to understand the basics of programming and the power technology can have in transforming the world.”
Some of the winning innovations from previous years include an air quality and weather surveillance station, a drumming selfie-machine, a robot that helps with household recycling, an automatic pill dispenser, a forest fire detector and a system that allows drivers to locate empty car park spaces in cities and towns.
PA first launched the competition in 2012 in response to a fall in programming skills to help tackle the growing talent gap in programming and coding. The Raspberry Pi was selected as it is a low-cost computer, launched with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools and stimulating interest in the IT industry. After its success in England, PA this year launched the Raspberry Pi competition in the Netherlands. The competition will follow the same format as the UK version and the first theme is “improve well-being for people needing care”. Schools in the Netherlands are currently putting forward their ideas to be judged by a panel of representatives from industry, public sector, PA itself and House of Digital.
For information on PA’s previous Raspberry Pi competitions, visit: https://www.paconsulting.com/events/raspberry-pi-competition/