Fry the Pi: How the $35 Raspberry Pi Changed Our Thinking About Ed Tech and Helped Us Envision a Makerspace

Kristin Fontichiaro
University of Michigan School of Information
Co-Presenters: Rachel Goldberg, Shauna Masura, Terence O’Neill, Samantha Roslund

Presenting From: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s):

Youth, YA, or school librarians; teachers; tech integrators; administrators

Short Session Description (one line):

We'll share our thinking, planning, and early implementation of a STEM-centered makerspace in a middle school library

Full Session Description:
In March 2012, the Raspberry Pi (RPi) Foundation announced the release of their $25-$35 Linux computer. Created by a group of University of Cambridge professors who worried that incoming computer science students often lacked fluency in coding, the Raspberry Pi is one of a handful of low-cost computing devices that makes coding, experimentation, and prototyping easy. As University of Michigan faculty, graduate students, and alumni, we became intensely curious and increasingly excited about how we could leverage the RasPi -- and other low-cost tools like Squishy Circuits and Arduino microprocessors -- to implement a low-cost, high-challenge, student-driven STEM-based makerspace for middle school students. Our project explores how and what students learn when we bring low-hierarchy, makerspace thinking into the school building, using student-created badging systems to motivate others and signal expertise. We want students to “fry the Pi” -- to tweak, hack, experiment, and explore. At a cost of $35, what do we have to lose? We’ll report on our thinking, planning, and early implementation.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: Raspberry Pi Foundation site:

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This looks terrific!



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