After its success in England, PA Consulting’s Raspberry Pi competition will be held for the first time this year in the Netherlands. Teams from schools are challenged to find innovative solutions to problems in society with the Raspberry Pi – an inexpensive, powerful credit card-sized computer.
“With the competition, we hope to make young people enthusiastic about technology and show the importance of innovation and collaboration,” says Ernst Brand public sector expert PA Consulting (PA), which organises this school competition in collaboration with House of Digital.
The theme for the first Raspberry Pi Competition in the Netherlands is to “improve well-being”. Students from VMBO, MAVO, HAVO and MBO schools are using this brief to create their inventions using the Raspberry Pi. “Who can use the Raspberry PI to develop in-house applications (or other accommodations) where people with care needs really benefit? That is the challenge that we present to students from the age of 12,” Ernst continues.
Technological solutions can help people in need of care to make their lives in the home better, safer, healthier or more pleasant. Ernst gives some examples to help the school teams start working: “A sensor that measures the air quality at home? Or a device that waters plants or a device that establishes contact with a caregiver if there are problems? We know from the previous successful competitions in England that the teams can come up with great ideas.” Examples of ‘healthcare projects’ from the English competition are: a game to help children with ADD and dyslexia in learning, a monitoring tool that helps carers of the elderly to address risks of unattended falls at home, and an entry system to help deafblind people identify visitors to their residence.
The Raspberry Pi competition encourages students to work together as a team, to think about relevant social themes and to find innovative solutions using technology. “The competition gives students aged 12 years and up the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with computer programming and technology, valuable skills that are becoming increasingly important in society”, emphasises Mark Griep, country head at PA. Karen van der Kolk, programme director House of Digital, agrees, and comments: “With this competition we can interest young people early on to develop innovative applications. Thanks to our network, we can play an important role in this.”
All schools can participate
All schools in the Netherlands can participate in the competition. The first teams have already registered. The official start will take place on 25 September 2018 at a kick-off event. Mark adds: “The competition lasts five months, and the final is planned for April 2019. After registration, each team receives a free Raspberry Pi starter pack. The teams – pupils / students who are supervised by a teacher – can receive additional support from a mentor from the business community and from students from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In addition, there is useful information on our website about how to come up with ideas and suggestions on how the Raspberry Pi competition can be incorporated into the curriculum.”
The inventions to improve well-being for people needing care will be judged by a panel of representatives from industry, public sector, PA itself and House of Digital. There are three categories: the most creative solution, the most feasible solution and the most impactful solution. The winner of each category will receive a prize as a reward.