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Watch Tim Peake with the Astro Pi flight units in space!

We’re thrilled to be able to show you some brand new video that British ESA astronaut Tim Peake has sent to us from the International Space Station. Tim shows us the Astro Pi flight units, Ed and Izzy, running kids’ apps and experiments on board the ISS.

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on our blog, you’ll know that this month, UK students have another chance to send their code to Tim in space with our 2016 coding challenges. Today we’re excited to announce that a panel of top-flight judges have generously offered their time to help us select the winners.

Both challenges relate to music: Tim wants students to write a Python program to turn an Astro Pi flight unit into an MP3 media player, and he’d like people to write electronic music in Sonic Pi for him to listen to on the player. So we’re delighted that we’ll have musicians including synthpop giants OMD and film composer Ilan Eshkeri, as well as experts from the aerospace industry and our own crack team of developers, to help pick out winning entries from what we know will be an amazing field.

If you’re aged 18 or under and in the UK, and you’d like these amazing artists, space engineers and computer scientists to see your work, submit your entry via the Astro Pi website by 31 March!

The post Watch Tim Peake with the Astro Pi flight units in space! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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Six women doing excellent things with Raspberry Pi

Today is International Women’s Day, and we’re celebrating six women who are doing really wonderful things with Raspberry Pi.

Cat Lamin talks about using Scratch with the Raspberry Pi GPIO at Bett 2016

Cat Lamin

Primary school teacher Cat Lamin is a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator who has worked energetically to support others to teach computing. Coding Evening, an initiative she set up in 2015 to bring together teachers, volunteers, IT professionals and hobbyists, has already spread from its roots in Twickenham to locations across the south and east of England. Cat talks about her experience with both Picademy and Coding Evening in episode #3 of The Pi Podcast; her interview starts around 16m35s.

Sonia Uppal sets up for a Google Coder workshop

Sonia Uppal

A high-school student from California, Sonia Uppal first featured on this blog in late 2015. She took a dislike to computer science when she first encountered it in dull lessons during a three-year stint in Bangalore, India; back home in California, she discovered how exciting programming could be, and wanted students in rural India to have the same experience. Her project, Pi á la Code, is now bringing new computing opportunities to children both in India and in the USA.

Lucy Rogers speaking at a launch event for Raspberry Pi 3

Lucy Rogers

Regular readers may know Dr Lucy Rogers best for her Raspberry Pi-controlled robot dinosaurs; these, though, are just one of too many exciting projects to list. A maker, science communicator, and engineer, you might find Lucy protecting the world from space debris, running digital making events for kids, or doing science cabaret. We can’t wait to watch her in the BBC’s new series of Robot Wars, where she’s one of the three judges.

Yasmin Bey

Yasmin Bey

Yasmin Bey is a 15-year-old programmer, maker, and Raspberry Pi enthusiast. The proportion of students choosing to study computing at her girls’ school increased from 3% to 70% after she ran lunchtime clubs for other students. A winner of the 2015 EU Digital Girl of the Year award and the 2016 everywoman in Technology One to Watch Award, Yasmin often volunteers her time to run workshops and give talks, including at the Bett Show 2016 and at our Big Birthday Bash last weekend.

Sway Grantham holding her Raspberry Pi Certified Educator badge

Sway Grantham

Sway Grantham was among the very first group of teachers to attend Picademy, our free training for educators, and is a consummate collaborator and speaker who is generous in her support for others. Energetic and rigorous in providing effective, engaging computing teaching to her primary school students, she shares her experiences with other teachers in written articles and talks, at events and on social media. Sway is a Specialist Leader of Education for computing, supporting other educators to deliver excellent teaching.

Fran Scott on stage

Fran Scott

Fran Scott is a talented science presenter and live stage performer with a mission to make science jargon-free, accessible, and accurate, as well as exciting. In shows such as the brilliant explosions-based computing, Fran uses Raspberry Pis to demonstrate key computer science concepts to kids, teens, and people who love bangs and flashes.

We’ll sign off with a shout-out to students at Queen Margaret’s girls’ school in York, who have been celebrating International Women’s Day by launching #WOWLDN to near space with a high altitude balloon, using a Raspberry Pi as a payload tracker. We saw excellent photos of their flight and enjoyed following their recovery of the payload, which came down so close to the North Sea that it got a bit damp and sandy.

Women of the World on Twitter

Our pics come back via radio signal, so have some interference but… WHAT. A. PICTURE. #WOWLDN #IWD2016 #QMSkyPi

Happy International Women’s Day!

The post Six women doing excellent things with Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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New Sonic Pi Essentials book – series available in print!

One of the most unique and expressive teaching tools on the Raspberry Pi is Sonic Pi, the live music coding app. It lets you create your own sound your own way, and modify it on the fly in case you’re DJing an event (happens to us all the time). All of this is done in code on the Raspberry Pi. To get you started in this new world of live-coding synthesised melodies, we’ve got a brand Essentials book: Code music with Sonic Pi.

Over 100 pages of Sonic Pi excellence

Over 100 pages of Sonic Pi excellence

Much like our other Essentials books, it presents a series of excellent tutorials on how to make the most of Sonic Pi. It’s all written by Sam Aaron, the creator of Sonic Pi and prolific Sonic Pi live-coding DJ. As well as teaching you how to code music, we also have a couple tutorials on how to interact with Minecraft to create live visualisations of your work. Here’s what you’ll find inside the book:

  • Master live loops
  • Build drum breaks
  • Compose your own melodies
  • Make random riffs and loops
  • Create visualisations in Minecraft
  • A huge glossary of Sonic Pi functions

… and much more.

But that’s not all! While usually the Essentials books are download only ebooks, a lot of you have asked us if we could print them out. So we did! All the Essentials books – Command Line, Python, Sense HAT, and Sonic Pi – are available to be purchased right now for only £3.99 from our brand new online MagPi shop. They’ll also be on sale at the Birthday Bash tomorrow on the Pi Hut stall.

They're A5 sized so easy to slip into a bag for on-the-go learning

They’re A5 sized so easy to slip into a bag for on-the-go learning

You can also still get Code music with Sonic Pi on our Android and iOS app, as well as the usual PDF download.

Code music with Sonic Pi is freely licensed under Creative Commons (BY-SA-NC 3.0). You can download the PDF free now and forever, but buying in digital and print supports the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission to democratise computing and educate kids.

Learn to live code with Sonic Pi

Learn to live code with Sonic Pi

We hope you enjoy it! We’re off to program some Gilbert and Sullivan into it.

The post New Sonic Pi Essentials book – series available in print! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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ZeroBorg: teeny tiny robotics from PiBorg

Raspberry Pi robotics aces PiBorg are known for quality robots and add-ons, from the tiny PicoBorg board to the somewhat terrifying DoodleBorg. Now they’re bringing their magic to the Raspberry Pi Zero with ZeroBorg, a small but powerful motor controller and sensor board. We weren’t surprised to see their Kickstarter campaign hit its target quickly; there’s still time to jump on board.

ZeroBorg robot

ZeroBorg costs from £15 and is barely larger than a Raspberry Pi Zero, and a Zero + ZeroBorg + 9V battery weigh as little as 65g, but it doesn’t pull its punches. You can control four motors independently, or more if you stack multiple ZeroBorgs over I2C (ideal for animatronics projects or CNC machine servos); I2C communication also means you can connect it to other add-on boards to pile on extra functionality, and there are two analogue inputs so you can connect any sensors that your project demands. It’s available with an infrared module, so you can control it via a TV remote, and a DCDC regulator for powering the Pi Zero. And, as with PiBorg’s other boards, they will provide open source software for controlling the board, so you can set up your robot exactly the way you choose.


PiBorg told us,

We love making boards and kits for the Raspberry Pi, mainly because the Pi community is like one big growing family. The support we’ve received so far with this Kickstarter has been phenomenal and we can’t thank the community and the Raspberry Pi Foundation enough.

Many people are learning about programming, electronics and robotics with the Pi. Every day a new Pi project appears, and the community jumps in and helps develop ideas and solve problems.

Already there are really awesome projects such as a Zero that makes tea in the morning, and a robot that feeds your cat while you are away. We can’t wait to see what people build with the ZeroBorg!

Neither can we. Take a look!

The post ZeroBorg: teeny tiny robotics from PiBorg appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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Learn more about the Raspberry Pi 3 in The MagPi 43!

As you may remember from earlier in the week, the Raspberry Pi 3 is here! The latest version of the Raspberry Pi is the most powerful one yet, and brings with it a whole host of new features such as wireless LAN, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. In issue 43 of The MagPi, we go in depth into all the changes, upgrades and differences that you can expect from the Raspberry Pi 3.

A great cover that you probably haven't seen before today

A great cover that you probably haven’t seen before today

We also have an interview with Eben Upton and James Adams on the creation of the Raspberry Pi 3 and the wireless radio that makes the new headline features possible. There are tips and tutorials on how to get started with Raspberry Pi 3 and finally a full suite of benchmarks so you know just how much more powerful the Pi 3 is than its predecessors.

Issue 43 has more than just Raspberry Pi 3 though: there’s a big Astro Pi update as Ed and Izzy are turned on up in space, we look at an amazing Pi Zero cluster board, hack Minecraft with the Bedrock Challenge, and all our usual array of projects, tutorials and reviews.

Make a musical rhythm game in Python with Clef Hero

Make a musical rhythm game in Python with Clef Hero

Highlights from issue 43:

  • Astro Pi switch on!
    Ed and Izzy have both been turned on, and make your own Astro Pi
  • Minecraft Bedrock Challenge
    Hack Minecraft Pi to create this fun game for you and your friends
  • Open-source licence guide
    Why you should consider open-source for your next project
  • Raspiwhales
    There are Pis in space, and then there are Pis that ride on whales
  • And much, much more!
Learn all about what's new with the Raspberry Pi 3

Learn all about what’s new with the Raspberry Pi 3

Free Creative Commons download
As always, you can download your copy of The MagPi completely free. Grab it straight from the issue page for The MagPi 43.

Don’t forget, though, that like sales of the Raspberry Pi itself, all proceeds from the print and digital editions of the magazine go to help the Foundation achieve its charitable goals. Help us democratise computing!

Buy in-store
If you want something more tangible to play with, you’ll be glad to hear you can get the print edition in more stores than ever:

And all good newsagents

Order online
Rather shop online? Get it from The Pi Hut and they’ll deliver it almost anywhere in the world.

Subscribe today!
If you still want to start a new subscription with #40, with a free #PiZero and a free cable bundle, you can! Just make sure you select the right option when you sign-up online or over the phone.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue! It’s so good we feel like dancing about it.

The post Learn more about the Raspberry Pi 3 in The MagPi 43! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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