Latest initiative is designed to encourage more youngsters to take an interest in programming

Google to donate 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schools

The foundation behind the Raspberry Pi has partnered with Google, which will see the firm give 15,000 of the devices to schools across the UK.

It is hoped that the initiative will encourage a new generation of computer scientists, as the availability of free devices is designed to boost the number of children taking up an education in programming.

The limited number of young people pursuing an education in programming has long been an issue in the UK as fears surrounding a potential future shortage of qualified individuals continue to mount.

Throughout the last decade, the number of individuals studying computer science in the UK has fallen by 23 per cent at undergraduate level and 34 per cent at graduate level.

The Raspberry Pi has already proved a hit with developers, hackers and hobbyists, as specialist distributor Premier Farnell announced back in January that it had sold 500,000 units of the device.

With another official distributor on hand and a number of unofficial ones unaccounted for, the foundation behind the devices estimates that over one million devices have been sold to date.

Whilst the shortage of students showing an interest in programming within the UK continues, those already working with the device in other countries have showcased its potential.

Earlier in the year, computer science Ph.D. student Lingxiang Xiang used the Raspberry Pi to fix a broken R2-D2 replica toy.

Using the device, Xiang upgraded the R2 unit with additional features including facial recognition, motion and distance detection, and even the ability to understand voice commands in both English and Chinese.

Check out the full story on PCR‘s sister site Develop.

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