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PA IN THE MEDIA

PA Consulting announces 2019 winners of Raspberry Pi Competition

This article was first published in Computer Weekly

PA Consulting has announced the winners of its annual Raspberry Pi Competition after a technology showcase in London.

Each year, the consulting brand partners with Raspberry Pi to encourage schools and children to using technology and coding to develop products that could change customer experience in the travel and transport industry using Raspberry Pi computers.

The competition is open to students from primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across the UK, and the winning team in each category receives £1,000.

Anita Chandraker, global innovation services lead at PA Consulting, said some of the ideas that came out of this year’s competition could be “life changing”.

“The awards day was a fantastic opportunity for the students to present their ideas to industry leaders, and for the judges and guests to witness the children’s ingenuity on full display,” she said.

“We believe young minds hold potentially life-changing ideas. One school that competed in a previous PA Raspberry Pi competition went on to turn its idea for a wearable air quality monitor into thousands of sales after teaming up with a manufacturer.”

Although the UK has developed a computing curriculum with the aim of teaching young people the digital skills required for modern day society, the country still suffers from a skills gap in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The PA Competition, much like other initiatives that encourage children to use technology to solve real-world problems, is aimed at highlighting the importance of teaching young people about the technology and coding skills they will need in the future workplace.

The 2019 winners of the competition were:

Primary school award: St Mary’s School, Horsham– aimed at academic years four to six, the primary school award winners developed “Park and Stride”, which used a portable RFID keyring to allow users to “scan in” at Raspberry Pi points on the way to school. The aim of the technology is to encourage people to walk to school, or some way to school, rather than parking directly outside the school.

Secondary school award: Lady Eleanor Holles School, London– aimed at academic years seven to nine, the winners of the secondary school award developed a safety device for children’s car seats. Called the Brainy Baby Belt, it is a sensor that makes a noise when it becomes unclipped, and can also play music to entertain children during car journeys.

Secondary school award: Westminster School, London– aimed at years 10 and 11, the higher tier of the secondary school award was given to Westminster School, whose team developed cycling gloves that light up to give cyclists directions, as well as increase the visibility of those on the road. The gloves will use cloud-based data to give cyclists a real-time display of air pollution in their location.

Sixth form and college award: Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, Carmarthenshire– aimed at academic years 12 and 13, the sixth form and college award winning team used a Raspberry Pi to develop a traffic-light control system to reduce the amount of time spent waiting at traffic lights. Using data such as the distance between lights, speed limits and types of car, engineers can use a web-based interface to enter these factors to help determine the most efficient waiting times.

During the award day, the twelve finalist teams showcased their innovations and were able to meet industry experts in speed networking sessions.

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