Proud to be awarded a Diana Award & Inaugural Legacy Award

Raspberry Pi

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I have some great news. Can you believe it? I am one of only 20 young people in the world to get the Inaugural Legacy Award!!!

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In May, this year I was invited to St James’ Palace to receive my award from Their Royal Highnesses, Prince William and Prince Harry. It was a fabulous day of celebration in memory of the late Princess Diana and her legacy of kindness, compassion and service she showed to others. I met some amazing people who were doing awesome things for their community. Amongst them, I made friends with Nicholas Nikiforou – who was diagnosed with a disfigurement and now uses his love of art to advocate for kindness, equality and promotes facial equality, Mathew White-ily – who is an anti-bullying ambassador who has raised awareness of the problems and the difference he made with the  bullying  in his school, and Jemima Browning – who through her highly successful stingrays swimming club has raised awareness about different medical conditions like Down’s Syndrome and has been appointed to the European Youth Activation Committee to represent the Special Olympics in Great Britain.

 

I have also been very privileged to meet HRH Prince Harry and HRH Prince William in the Throne Room. I even managed to give them both one of my Bangladesh Campaign cards and talk about South London Raspberry Jam and the Robot workshops I run in the community!!!

 

As you may expect, there was a lot of media coverage. See link below. My school is very proud of my achievement, as are my parents.

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SkyNews Link: http://news.sky.com/video/award-winners-adventure-into-unknown-10882252

I would like to thank Tessy, Daniel, Conor, Emma, Ellie, Becky, Katie Alex and the rest of the Diana Award Crew for all of the hard work they have put into the special Inaugural Legacy Award – you all embody the qualities of the Diana Award: kindness, compassion and service.  I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to meet the other Legacy Award holders and get to meet many amazing people at the Palace. Nik – I look forward to becoming good friends.

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Other news: Our Bangladesh Campaign is going really well. We have reached the £1,500 mark and still going strong. I would like to say a big thank you to 4Tronix who have donated 11 Robo:Bits Kits so that when I run my robot workshops – I can bring in the Micro:Bit and set a challenge for each group to build a robot with the Micro:Bit – to be coded using an Android phone. They will learn how to write code so that their mobile phones can control the robots.  This is a awesome addition to the project where I aim to run robot workshops to 100 kids in Bangladesh in July and give out out Micro:Bits. See Indiegogo campaign

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Bangladesh Campaign Link: https://igg.me/at/femi

 

I would like to thank Chris Follows from the UAL Digital Makers Collective for bringing us into the Tate Exchange  and giving our group of South London Raspberry Jammers (young SLRJammers) a session at the Chelsea School of Art and Design – a day of VR.  We are really looking forward to our collaborations with you and very very excited about becoming Tate Exchange Associates for the next round out programming in 2018.  We had an amazing time.

 

 

Thanks also, to Ben Nuttall from Raspberry Pi Foundation for running a great workshop on the Pi Camera and launching our first Pioneers MeetUp. As ever,  South London Makerspace – thanks for hosting our group.

 

 

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I am very proud to have run my very first Tourettes-only robot workshop at the TicFest South last week. 

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It was quite hard work as there were about 18 young people with  Tourettes Syndrome and other condition such as ADHD and Autism, which made for a very lively and, at times, an intense experience. I just about survived and everybody successfully built their robots with the Ultra Sonic Sensors working!!! I felt such a high afterwards that I had to go and play football outside and leave Mum and my little brother to finish packing away the robot kits. Oops, sorry mum, but it was with my TS friends and it was really hot outside. I promise to make up for it! Alex, you were a superstar (just 6 and now helping out with the workshop – see him in yellow t-shirt on right-size of photo above).

Everybody loved the workshop and we have been booked up for TicFest North in September and I will be running robot workshops for local Tourettes Action groups. I am really really looking forward to doing this. Thank you Tourette’s Action for all your support and the amazing work you do in the TS community.

 

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I am very excited to be returning to the BT Tower for a second time with the Tech4Good Awards networking event. I’ll be doing a talk   and getting to meet  some of this year’s finalists!!! I am also very excited to be going to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the Diana Awards with  MPs – if I get permission from school.

 

I will keep you all informed – running a Wearables session with our Pioneers group this weekend and look forward to reporting back. 

Watch this space.

Femi

I’m taking my Robot workshop to Bangladesh

Raspberry Pi

I am very proud to announce my Bangladesh Campaign. Weʼre raising £1,000 so I can run Robot & Physical Computing workshops for 100  kids from low income families in Bangladesh. As you know, I’m just 11 so my mum’s coming with me. We launched the campaign on 23rd April and did our  first talk at the Wimbledon Jam. We are into week 3 and already 75% funded with additional cash donation – which is fantastic news. We are also being sponsored by Micro:bit Foundation who have given us 100 Micro:bits to give out to the children we see.

At Launch of campaign

With mum and Luke – founder of CAFFE Bangladesh

Here’s my background story.

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My first Indiegogo campaign in 2015

I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of seven and, at nine, decided to set up the South London Raspberry Jam which is autism and Tourette’s Syndrome friendly  – where others can learn about coding and physical computing in an inclusive environment. We have run workshops for over 150 young people, parents and teachers and I’d like to reach more young people and so have set up this campaign to run my workshops in Bangladesh to 100 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and share my love of digital making along the way.

Here’s the link:

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https://www.indiegogo.com/project/femi-s-bangladesh-robot-workshop-campaign/embedded/12189388

I will be working in partnership with the Mozilla community, Code Club Bangladesh, a small charity called CAFFE who work with low income families and NGOs to skill up young people in coding, physical computing and programming to improve life chances.

I’m going to vlog at the end of each day whilst in Bangladesh, which should be quite entertaining  ,  and do lots of filming and interview with other children my age who share my love of coding. Maybe we’ll make a little film about our experience there.

 

A message from CAFFE

 

“Everyone at CAFFE is very excited about Femi’s visit. The students will really enjoy learning new skills from someone their own age. They rarely have any opportunity to meet people from other countries so this is a fantastic way to broaden their horizons and learn about Femi’s life too.

This video introduces a couple of our students. You can find out where they live, learn about some of the problems they face but also see the work they are doing at CAFFE.”

Luke Doyle, Founder CAFFE

Link to video CAFFE Video

A message from Code Club Bangladesh

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A message from the Micro;bit Foundation

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‘The Micro:bit Foundation is delighted Femi is so proactive in sharing his passion and capabilities in computing with others and encouraging them to learn. It is impressive in the UK; to take it overseas to parts of the world needing support is truly inspiring. The Foundation and its partners believe in the potential effectiveness of the device in areas with restricted digital connectivity due to its low cost, accessibility, flexibility and the option to code using smart phones as well as PCs. We are more than happy to support Femi and look forward to seeing the results of his impressive efforts’

Gareth James BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE CMgr FCMI FRAS MIET
Chief of Education and Strategy
The Micro:bit Foundation

 

I will post a link to my vlogs when they have been set up.

 

Here’s some photos and a video of my Crumble Robot Workshop I did on Saturday at Raspberry Pi Foundation HQ.  It’ll gives you an idea of what I’m going to be doing in Bangladesh.

 

Click link for video:    CrumbleWorkshop

Thanks Redfern Electronics for providing the Crumble  kits. I would also like to thank Tate Exchange for allowing us to film on the 5th Level. I am really looking forward to working with you for 2018. In addition, I would like to send out a big thank you to Tourettes Action who have supported us from the very beginning.

Thanks all

Femi

 

 

‘Highly Commended’ in the European Astro Pi Challenge

Raspberry Pi

 

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Fantastic news, our entry for the European Astro Pi Challenge achieved a ‘highly commended’ award and our programmes, written in Python, will collect data on the International Space station (ISS) over a three hour period. The SLRJammers’ team consisted of 5 young coders aged between 9-15 and we met over a period of 6 sessions at the South London Makerspace. We developed 2 pieces of code for the challenges, each of us worked on different parts, communicating and sharing code on Slack in between sessions. The hardest challenge to overcome was really putting the different parts of the code together to form the final script. Everybody was so committed and I would like to say a special thanks to Frank, Thomas R’s dad -for all of his help in overseeing this part.

Our code had to detect crew presence in the Columbus of the ISS and run a scientific experiment of our own choice. We chose to develop a programme to take frequency readings of the Columbus Module, which we plan to make into colour and a musical score. We will have a 3 hour timeslot to run our experiment and will be getting the data downlinked  in May.

I would like to thank Pimoroni for supply some extra SenseHats , Marc and Andy for their input,  for the great encouragement and advice from Paul, Dermot, Rich from the South London Makerspace and to Sam for her Python sessions and fabulous support. I would also like to thank the Raspberry Pi Foundation and ESA for running this fantastic competition.

 

The Tate Exchange Digital Makers Collective has finally come to an end after four amazing events stretched over two months. It has been a brilliant experience. I have loved the chance to meet so many new people and learn about their projects and aspirations. It has been amazing, learning about all the new tech and how they are being used in different ways. All this has opened my mind to the value of the Arts in the creative and ideation stages of building digital projects. Having contact with some key people at Tate Modern has inspired me to continue to help others.  Both Chris follows ( Digital Learning Manager UAL  & CCWdigital )and Fiona Kingsman (Head of Tate Exchange) have been really good champions. I quite  enjoyed being filmed, too.

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To be honest I never thought the Art collections  at the  Tate Modern would interest me.  However, I have been quite surprised. On the last day of the Digital Maker Collective sessions , I brought a friend along and my little brother, who loves painting with acrylics and is into the colours and shapes used by Rothko. We took him to the galleries to see some the Rothko works. He loved it.

Can you believe it, on our way out we found this really fun massive cloud of vapours and mist. Later we found out that it was a live vapour sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya. Maybe we’ve become new fans of the Arts.

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I’m looking forward to working with the Digital Maker Collective and Tate Exchange.

 

IMG_5702With chief judge Dr Lucy Rogers (from Robot Wars)

We went to Pi Wars this weekend  – and competed in the beginners section.  Lets just say it was awesome and now I understand the philosophy of learning through failure! I’ll be writing a review soon including  video footage of interviews with some of the other competitors.

Also, my mum and I are also planning a 12 day trip to Bangladesh and are in the process of filming our campaign video with Revolution Hive at the YouTube headquarters.  I’ll be running my Crumble Robot workshop whilst we are there and am looking forward to sharing my love of coding and digital making with other young people in both Dhaka and Sylhet. It’s going to be great to meet both the Mozilla and Code Club Bangladesh. We are going to visit and run a couple of workshops in a school set up by CAFFE (Computers Are Free For Everyone) who work with low income families to help them learn programming skills to earn a living.

I’ll let you all know when it’s ready.

Thanks

[Follow me on Twitter to keep updated  @hackerfemo ]

Digital Maker Collective @ Tate Exchange & Astro Pi Challenge

Raspberry Pi

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It was fantastic being invited by UAL’s Digital Maker Collective to be a guest maker at the Tate Exchange. I did the first Wednesday session out of a total of 4 events every fortnight that are being held in the new Digital Arts space on the 5th floor of Tate Modern’s new Tate Exchange building. Over the next two months a number of awesome digital makers from UAL and guest makers (including me) will be running workshops and showing off some amazing gadgets at this event. There is even a VR workshop where you can try out this new piece of tech!

It was totally worth missing half the day of school. I missed both Geography and Italian (note to teachers, I have caught up with the work). Right from the beginning, the workshop was successful. There were students from UAL, tourists and even staff who had a go at building a robot. I didn’t stop working until my mum called it a day so that we could go on a tour of some of the artwork. Frances Morris, the director of Tate Modern, recommended that I see Nam June Paik’s ‘Bakelight Robot’  made up of 5 monitors and radios as he was the first artist to develop video art based on technological innovation back in the early 1960s. I get it now, this is about an exchange between  Art at the Tate Modern and the digital community. Nice touch.

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I really enjoyed engaging with so many different people and sharing some of my knowledge of robotics and sensors. I am really looking forward to the next session on the 22nd of February. I would like to thank Joseph from Redfern Electronics who has sponsored my Robot workshop by supplying the equipment that I use; he invented the Crumble electronic controller and the software programme. Very cool person too!  Me and my mum have been looking at some of the discussion points of the Digital Maker Collective

One of the themes is around  Ego and not letting it stop you from engaging in new technologies, developing professional Online  Identities (POI) and openness in sharing your experiences through social media and blogging etc.

Here’s the link to Chris Follows audio recording of his talk at UAL

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https://process.arts.ac.uk/content/oer13-audio-recording-ego-oer-and-lsp-lego-serious-play

And here is the link to Eckhart Tolle who talks about the Digital Age, awareness, thoughts and the Ego.

 

 

Since the  last blog we have had two more Astro Pi hack sessions with Sam Page, who teaches Astro Pi and Python programming to her Year 9s at her school. The South London Makerspace has been a fantastic place to hold our Astro Pi hacks; the members have been very welcoming and given us loads of support and advice. A special thank you to Rich, Paul and Dermot and, of course, Sam.  We have worked on the two different challenges, created the code for them and tested it. This week we worked really hard, as a team, to bring it all together and figure out what is left to do. We are even using Slack to communicate with each other  in between sessions. Really hope we can continue coming to the South London Makerspace as it just feel like the most natural place to be as a group of young hackers.

 

It was really nice to return to Barking Library for the second East London Raspberry Jam. Once again I ran my Crumble Robot hack in which another six robots were born. It was a great event, nice to catch up with the @DigiLab crew, Nic (@duck_star), Frank from Covent Garden CoderDojo, Justin Grierson (who showed us some Node Red stuff) and Andy from Southend Raspberry Jam.

Check out my mum’s feature blog on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official website blog. She talks about the inspiration behind our South London Raspberry Jam. Congrats – you did a great job!

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/inclusive-learning-south-london-raspberry-jam/

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See you very soon

Hackerfemo!

 

 

Saying Farewell to 2016 & Starting 2017 0n a High

Raspberry Pi

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First of all – apologies for not keeping up to date. Technical problem – my Mac is broke! But there have been so many things to write about – so I’m going to have to be brief as I’d like to write about the amazing  stuff happening here and now in 2017.

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So in October, 2016 we were invited to join Raspberry Pi Foundation at St James’ Palace  to celebrate  10 million Raspberry Pi computers  being sold, with the Duke of York. I actually spoke to him – he asked me what a ‘Jam’ was  – which put me on the spot for a second or two. The Raspberry Pi is now, officially, the most popular British computer. It was really amazing – I went with my mum, little brother and my cousin.

Also in October I ran a Robot workshop at Mozfest with Nic Hughes – see last post. Well, it was awesome –  a full  session and we got really great feedback. What I got out of MozFest this year was being mentored by a first class teacher, coming up with a workshop and then writing a worksheet and presentation. I went to Nic’s first East London Raspberry Jam and delivered the workshop with my dad – then we went through the problems and made changes before running the workshop at Mozfest.

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Now, I really enjoy delivering this workshop to loads of other people – like at Hack Horsham in December. It was really nice to see the Horsham crew again, especially Jonathan and Marcus – although none of my  Show & Tell robots were working that well.

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At CamJam – mum did a talk about setting up a Raspberry Jam and I had a Show & Tell stall.  I managed to get some components for my Pi Wars robot –  the Zero Borg, a tiny robot controller and Brian Corteil and his son, Billy, gave me a lesson in Robot chassis design and how to consider the challenges and sensors.

We even visited  Cambridge makerspace which is very cool.

Towards the very end of the year we went to Sittingbourne for a Jam with Bethaine Fentiman – who I’m going to be working with  in Margate at half term.

Going into 2017, we got  through to Pi Wars and we have won a place on the second phase of the Astro Pi competition so we got together some of our Jammers at the  South London Makerspace – thanks to Dermot and the Makerspace members for giving us space to hold our sessions. Thanks to Andy for bringing his AstroPi experience to the session.

I also  did  a TED X-like  talk at Thought Works and met some truly awesome people like the guys from Revolution Hive who were so so  inspirational – with the best ever talk I’ve seen – using something like flow poetry and they talked about ‘growth mindset’  and  how changing  things on a daily basis builds its own momentum to get to amazing heights of achievement. Thanks Loius & Keshav .  The biggest thanks go to Shwetal and Jack and the Change_Enablers  crew. Looking forward to the documentary. There were so many  amazing people at ThoughtWorks like Ellie Cooper from Diana Awards, DR J Harrison from ThoughtWorks and Bronte who is doing amazing  work with creativity and dealing with issues in communities in Leeds

So there are quite a few things going on – Pi Wars/Astro Pi and I’m going to run a series of workshops at the Tate Modern with UAL and the Digital Makers Collective.

Just this week,  me and my mum were pleasantly surprised to be featured in the MagPi Magazine – The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official magazine.

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Finally, today we went to the BETT show, one of my favourite events of the year. We got to see lots of friends, do lots of networking and most importantly collect lots and lots of swag. It was nice to meet the main guys at the MicroBit Foundation – talk about projects and find out about new developments. I also got to talk to Sudhir Giri from Google Education and talk about our Jams, blogging and making YouTube videos.

Phew – caught up now!

See you again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparation for MozFest 2016

Raspberry Pi

It has been a long time coming but finally MozFest season is upon us. It was great today, meeting the crew again at Ravensbourne college at the O2. This year Dorine and Andrew, the youth zone wranglers, decided to push my skills further by getting me to collaborate with Nic Hughes (@duck_star ) on a brand new workshop session complete with a worksheet and powerpoint slides.

We have been working hard together to present the all new ‘Crumble Robot’ hack. Its been tried and tested at Nic’s first East London Raspberry Jam, last weekend, so we have been able to fine tune it and improve the worksheet instructions.

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So tomorrow at MozFest, me and Nic are going to run a workshop using the Crumble to build robots which will have an Ultra Sonic Sensor added to stop it from hitting the wall when we race them!  Anyone can come along and build a robot using a food container for the chassis, along with a few motors and wheels thrown in. They will then develope some code to get it to move, add the ultra sonic sensor and then we will  race them. Any Robot that fails to stop before hitting the wall will be disqualified. May the best robot win!

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This morning I went to MozFest to attend a 2 hour ‘Facilitators’ training session which was very inspirational. It was really cool as it gave me the chance to socialise with other workshop facilitators and find out what’s happening this year. The main message was based around three ideas: respect, being fully present during your session and active listening to your participants  so you understand where they are coming from. Everyone wants to have a successful MozFest and we want to make sure that happens during our sessions.   After that, the Youth Zone facilitators went off and did a session on getting to know each other. Its really cool that we volunteer to help out with each other’s  sessions and I’m looking forward to learning from them.

Thanks to RedFern Electronics  and the Crumble inventor, Joseph Birks, for lending us some of the components for the session.  Also, I really hope Thomas, aged 10, gets the opportunity to come and help us with the session on Saturday. You can book tickets using this link –  https://mozillafestival.org/tickets

Wish us good luck !!!

See how it all went in my next blog post.

Femi