‘Highly Commended’ in the European Astro Pi Challenge

Raspberry Pi



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.


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.


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.


[Follow me on Twitter to keep updated  @hackerfemo ]


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