For the third year in a row PA Consulting Group is organising its so-called ‘Raspberry Pi programming’ competition, a programming challenge for pupils and students. This year, PA is tasking entrants to ‘revolutionise people’s health and wellbeing’, using a Raspberry Pi computer and some additional hardware and software.
The ‘Raspberry Pi programming’ challenge was first launched in 2012 by PA, in response to the falling number of students that pursue a career in programming and coding. With the annual challenge, the consulting firm aims at stimulating interest in the IT industry, explains Anita Chandraker, head of IT delivery at PA Consulting Group. “The competition gives entrants the opportunity to discover what they can achieve through coding in a fun and informal way. Our aim is to help support the teaching and learning of computing, science, design and technology and also inspire the UK’s next generation of tech experts.”
Entrants are given the challenge to – with the help of a Raspberry Pi computer (a low-cost, credit-card-size computer) – invent something that will help people lead healthier lives. Ideas could range from wearable technologies that ensure patients take their medication on time, to a health and fitness programme tailored to an individual’s needs, or a system that could streamline a hospital’s processes to make it more efficient.
Teams can participate in four different categories:
- Primary school award: academic years 4-6
- Secondary school award: academic years 7-11
- Sixth form & college award: academic years 12-13
- Young entrepreneur award: open to all university undergraduates
Besides winning a £1,000 prize money, the winning team in each category will receive the opportunity to turn their concept into a real-life initiative. Some of the winning innovations from previous years include a robot to help with the household recycling, an automatic pill dispenser, a forest fire detector and a device to help less-mobile people answer their front door. “It’s so encouraging to see the passion that young people have about technology, especially as it is now part-and-parcel of our every-day lives. As computing skills are so vital, we should foster the future generation of technology enthusiasts,” says Alan Middleton, CEO of the international consulting firm.
Teams have up to 30 January 2015 to submit their project. See the PA site for more information.