Summer of Hacking

Raspberry Pi

It’s been a little while since my last blog post but I have been busy making the most of the summer holidays. I went to the Tech4Good Awards and although I didn’t win, I did get to meet lots of amazing people.  EWaterPay  deservedly won the BT Young Pioneer Awards category and my new friend, Arnav, won both the People’s Award  and the Winner of Winners Award with his AsthmaPi – which is truly awesome.  However, we have kept moving and have gone on to the next stage of the Microsoft Azure Nano Satellite/BBC Microbit  competition.


Here’s a review of some of the events I went to or helped to run:

Horsham Hack (10/07/16)

Marcus (from Hack Horsham) and his son, Jonathan, are part of our Microsoft Azure winning team for the LightGlobe -so we came down to Horsham to catch up with them and join their hack that was really unique. They had a Code club section but  were mainly music focussed. Me and my brother mashed up  some tunes on some Pioneer DJ decks – and then posed for some cool photos. What do you think -a future career option? We also met some really interesting digital inventors which has really inspired me.



Family Hack Day (27/07/16)

Our South London Raspberry Jam organised an autism and Tourette’s friendly family Hack day with London Connected Learning Centre – who are totally awesome.  There were around 20 young people and we started with an open explore session – looking at VR handsets, Makey Makey kits and other coding software packages before getting to the Sonic Pi orchestra session which was run by Rowan. We all managed to make some good tunes and I enjoyed helping out bit as well.

At the same time, Marc (Code Club  expert) ran an amazing Kodu  session using the BBC Microbits. I hear it was hard work as he combined, probably, 3 sessions into one but the outcome was some very cool and crazy worlds, and mad moving objects controlled by the microbit.


After a welcome lunch break in the park we returned to my Robot hack which was brilliant due to the fact that virtually everyone got their robots running and then went on to fit sensors and programme their robots to follow black lines. Thank you Joseph (Crumble Inventor) for loaning the Crumble robot kits (Redfern Electronics).

The last, and my favourite session, was the group ‘Build a Minecraft City’ run by Rowan. This involved planning what a city needs, together, and then each of us building a section on a joint server. It was excellent and I think we all could have gone on for another 3 hours!

Finally we had a Show and Tell where  Rowan No 2 (there were two Rowans) showed a little video montage of the day and everyone said what they had done over the day.  She took the photos of the day too. The  London Connected Learning centre is amazing and so are the staff. We really want to continue to run events with them. Thank you very much for a brilliant day.

See their montage of photos and video clips:-  Family Hack Day

If you live in Lambeth – please do contact them as they are running some cool Family events. Hopefully, we will run something like a Lego Mindstorm (Robot) workshop in the near future – watch this space.

Southend Jam 20/09/16

This was a really relaxed and welcoming jam organised by Southend’s Raspberry Jam who helped us set up our South London Raspberry Jam. There was  a whole programme of talks, show and tell stalls and workshops (i.e. robots, Scratch and Python sessions). It was nice to see the Rapid Electronics crew there too(who often sponsor our Jams). I did the ‘Build a Radio’ with Medway Makers – which took quite a bit of time so I missed the Python workshop but it was worth it because I learnt about magnets, coils and radio waves, got to do some soldering and take home a radio that I made.  After, we had fish n’ chips on the beach. It was a great day out. Thanks to Andy and the team for organising the event.



EPIK Club: Virtual Reality (VR) Minecraft 21/09/16

This was an amazing workshop – all the way past Canterbury, run by Dorine Flies and her husband. I went with my whole family including my 5 year old brother. He really enjoyed playing with Dorine’s daughter, Sabrina. I learnt how to access all their different Minecraft mods/servers so we could play in the same worlds. Then we took it in turns to put on  a HTV Vive VR headset and actually be in the minecraft world – it was beyond amazing!  There were other programmes as well – an underwater world and a VR Art  tool called ‘TiltBrush Art’ – where you actually draw/paint 3D shapes in the VR world.  Mum also looked at their WeDo Lego construction kits as she’s thinking about get some for our younger coders. I’m very very sad that we live so far away! This EPIK club is a very cool group.


A few final words:

Our friend Nic Hughes is running  the first East London Raspberry Jam on 22nd October from 12pm in Barking Library . It’s free and there will some great workshops. If interested, use this link to book free tickets:-  First East London Raspberry Jam link

There’s also a brilliant Hackathon at London Zoo (18+) on 7th-9th October. Its based around finding  solutions to the fight against illegal Wildlife trade – use this link:-  Zoohackathon London

My submission for running a Robotic workshop at this year’s MozFest was successful and I am in the process of learning how to upload documentation to Github. Thanks Joseph for your offer to supply the kits for the session – hope you can make it to the event too.

Finally congratulations to Raspberry Pi Foundation for selling 10 million Raspberry Pi computers and creating such a cool community that spreads around the world. See their blog post:-

Raspberry Pi Blog

Bye for now



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