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A Raspberry Pi for Christmas - an Intro for Parents

OTBC (Oregon Technology Business Center)
8305 Southwest Creekside Place
Beaverton, Oregon 97008, US (map)
Public WiFi



Should you get your child a Raspberry Pi for Christmas? This informal talk will address that question.

The Pi is targeted at kids and at $35 it sounds pretty good. However, there are keyboards, SD cards, monitors, power supplies and other hardware to consider. Furthermore, the Pi is not for the faint of heart. You get all of the capabilities of a Linux system at the cost of its complexity.

There will be two halves to this talk.

  1. One for elementary children using Lego WeDo robotics and Scratch.

  2. The second targeting junior high or high schoolers and using Python to control a Vex robot.

The goal of this talk is to introduce you to a couple of robots you can control with the Pi. It will give you an idea of whether you want to tackle this with your children or if you want to give it to yourself instead. You have to be comfortable with hardware and willing to learn Linux. It is easy to manage as long as you follow the happy path. It is designed for children but is not childproof like Lego Mindstorms. The Pi provides you an opportunity to reduce it to scrap with a misplaced wire or to change its software in such a way it takes a wizard to recover. But hay – it’s only 35 bucks and you can always reload the software.

This talk is for parents. It is ok to bring a child but I do not promise to engage them. It will not teach you how to master the Pi. It will get you started by showing you what it can do and pointing you to resources on the web. Everyone is welcome.

Speaker: Ed Epp, IEEE

When: Dec. 4, 6:30pm to 9pm

Where: OTBC, 8305 SW Creekside Place, Beaverton, OR Directions

Cost: Free