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Google to Buy Arduino, Raspberry Pi Kits for UK Schools

By - Source: Teach First | B 11 comments

Google has announced a partnership with a UK charity that will see it provide computer science teachers for under-privileged schools.

Children are our future, and the future is full of technological advancements that we can scarcely imagine. As such, it's important that we equip today's children with an education that will help them once when they leave school and become a part of the real work. To that end, search giant Google has announced plans to provide UK schools with over 100 trainee computer science teachers.

Google will join forces with Teach First, a UK charity that takes graduates and turns them into teachers. Teach First and Google will work together during a three year partnership to train and support 102 ICT and science teachers to work in schools serving some of the country’s lowest income communities. This will include 61 ICT and 41 science teachers.

However, Google and Teach First aren't just providing the teachers, they're also providing the equipment. Google has committed to providing each teacher with a bursary to fund the purchase of innovative teaching aides to inspire and enthuse their classes. Speaking today at the London Science Museum, Google's Eric Schmidt mentioned Raspberry Pi and Arduino as examples of what these teachers might purchase for their classes.

"Computer science brings a practical rigor and creativity to problem-solving that differs from that of other disciplines," ZDNet quotes Schmidt as saying. "It's vital to expose kids to this early if they're to have the chance of a career in computing. Only two percent of Google engineers say they weren't exposed to computer science at high school."

The first 34 teachers will be entering classrooms in September 2012. Another 34 will enter in 2013, with the last 34 starting in September 2014.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , May 25, 2012 11:57 AM
    Wow! The Great British empire that robbed half the world and which aristocracy bathes in gold has no money for schools?
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    nicknovikov , May 25, 2012 10:44 AM
    What a wonderful idea
  • 12 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , May 25, 2012 11:57 AM
    Wow! The Great British empire that robbed half the world and which aristocracy bathes in gold has no money for schools?
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    mayne92 , May 25, 2012 12:46 PM
    I would have loved to have been taught computer science in high school!
  • 0 Hide
    infernocy , May 25, 2012 12:55 PM
    i live in the uk for the past 10 years and i have to say this is a public disgrace to humanity to reward those criminals with this .. if you want proof there are a lot of videos on youtube on how children are in the uk .. its just so bad that they reward them with this ..
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2012 1:17 PM
    @infernocy
    Kids are criminals? Or the people who run the institutions are?

    Whatever perspective you choose it's a good thing to give children education, especially in computer science. Even though the people who are supposed to do this are not doing it, it's still not a "bad" thing that someone else does...
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , May 25, 2012 2:37 PM
    Considering that the average spending in the UK is around £3,700 per primary student per year (about $5,800 US). Perhaps people should be looking more into where that money is going. There is no way that is not enough to pay for all the necessary teachers, buildings, utilities, new books, computers and other gadgets needed for education. With average class sizes of 26 pupils that is £96,200 (about $150,850 US).

    This is even worse in the US where they get $7,750 on average per student with an average of 24 students per class or $186,000 per class per year. Yet they keep saying they need more money for education.

    While Finland takes the top ranks in education in the world. While they get $5,650 per student and an average class size of 20 so and $113,000 per class.

    There is just tons of money being wasted somewhere. It certainly is not the teachers salary, books, classroom materials, utilities, &c. Assuming you bought new books (and they costs as much as college textbooks), new computers for every student every year and all other devices each year all expenses shouldn't go to much more than $100,000 per classroom. In reality this number is much less as they use computers for several years, other equipment for years if not decades and books for five to ten years.

    The Finnish number of $113,000 sounds just about perfect when you factor in a minimal office, janitorial and maintenance staff. Even they must have some inefficient spending though since there teachers make less money per year and I doubt they replace all education material and equipment every year.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , May 25, 2012 2:44 PM
    infernocyi live in the uk for the past 10 years and i have to say this is a public disgrace to humanity to reward those criminals with this ...


    What criminals?
    Where do you get that from??

  • 1 Hide
    syrious1 , May 25, 2012 3:05 PM
    get in line Google, I haven't even got mine yet...
  • 0 Hide
    __Miguel_ , May 25, 2012 3:57 PM
    syrious1get in line Google, I haven't even got mine yet...

    Same here, though mine is already ordered, should be with me in about two weeks (hopefully).

    That being said, from what I've read about the RaspberryPi, Google should be able to simply request a license from the RaspberryPi Foundation, build their own Raspis (I believe that's actually the way the two companies currently selling them have done), and simply bypass everyone else in line. Heck, they could actually sell them directly, too, if I'm correct.

    However, even if I am not correct, from the news piece it seems the RasPis will only be needed at classrooms come this September, which should be enough time for the pending waiting list to clear up (current estimates for clear up seem to be somewhere around July, by that time it's a limited general availability is expected).

    In any case, all the best for this initiative!
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , May 25, 2012 4:37 PM
    infernocyi live in the uk for the past 10 years and i have to say this is a public disgrace to humanity to reward those criminals with this .. if you want proof there are a lot of videos on youtube on how children are in the uk .. its just so bad that they reward them with this ..


    :)  That would be hardly a reward but it would be more like a punishment. Forcing the kids to study... wow! :D 

    freggoWhat criminals?Where do you get that from??


    It is a well known fact that young Brits form in gangs and then rob people, etc. BTW It happened to people I know. They say nobody does nothing to stop it because they are kids.
    I think that modern interpretation about human rights and democracy in Europe is about to break the society. I don't live in Britain but here too certain groups protected by these modern human rights laws in the EU, use the situation to commit crimes, extort the society, etc. And if the state tries to do something about it, the court in Strasbourg sentence the state to pay them. So instead to punish the criminals, many times the get a reward.

  • 0 Hide
    jiggles_20 , June 14, 2012 12:33 AM
    zingam_duoThat would be hardly a reward but it would be more like a punishment. Forcing the kids to study... wow! It is a well known fact that young Brits form in gangs and then rob people, etc. BTW It happened to people I know. They say nobody does nothing to stop it because they are kids.I think that modern interpretation about human rights and democracy in Europe is about to break the society. I don't live in Britain but here too certain groups protected by these modern human rights laws in the EU, use the situation to commit crimes, extort the society, etc. And if the state tries to do something about it, the court in Strasbourg sentence the state to pay them. So instead to punish the criminals, many times the get a reward.


    Typical narrow minded bigotry there! Stop tarring every young person with the same brush! Thats the minority you are speaking about. The majority of kids want to do well and don't fall into the trap of gangs! Your sadly misguided in what you think and hope that you see light! The kids that would get to use these will be the ones who will go onto build the bigger and better versions of the Rapi. The ones you talk about will always be consigned to the jail and courts!