What are some great Raspberry Pi projects that kids can do themselves?

I'm an educator and am just getting started with introducing my middle school students to Raspberry Pi. They're able to boot up the Pi and some of them have some coding background and skill. However, I would say that we're a group with very high interest but not necessarily high ability in the programming department. If you have any suggestions of good starter projects for my students, that would be so helpful!

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bertwert4 years ago
You can introduce them to python and make basic hello world programs like
print "HELLO WORLD!"
also look at rasperrypi.org for R-Pi news, forums and projects.
i just got started with the raspberry pi, but you could get them to play with scratch on it.

Also since its linux based, you can teach them linux/terminal commands. SSH, VNC.
Since they are 11-13 age group, install mame on it and build an arcade cabinet. Run the vintage video games on it that you grew up with.
They will have more ideas once they see it integrated into something physical.
Later come up with some simple problems and see what solutions they come up with. Like controlling appliances through the internet, or driving a car through a maze or something.

LeafingLight (author)  thematthatter4 years ago
Hmm... I like the idea of formally introducing them to linux and terminal commands. Great educational opportunity that would be review for some, but good exposure to the rest. Thanks for the suggestions!
jduffy544 years ago
try installing arduino. its an easy to use language that can be programmed to the arduino by the pi itself. That can then be worked back to the pi, by various projects that interface the two, and eventually lead to abandoning the arduino and just working on the pi.

OR

scratch comes pre-installed with the rasbian distro, so you could use that, it's VERY simple.
LeafingLight (author)  jduffy544 years ago
The students actually already love scratch, so we've been doing some activities using that. I hadn't thought of installing Arduino though... we have a few Arduinos already, so it could be fun to do some interfacing.
rickharris4 years ago
IMO unless your totally committed to the pi I would go for the Picaxe system

www.picaxe.com

Much easier to use in a class environment and a shorter learning curve.

I used this system in the UK for 15 years with great success building Robots, industrial models, alarms, home automation etc.

It's aimed at the education market with great documentation and support forum.


LeafingLight (author)  rickharris4 years ago
We do already have a partial set of Pis for the students to use. A number of the students are already somewhat familiar with Python, which was why we opted for the Pis. I will take a look into the Picaxe system (they're programmed with BASIC, right?), especially if they boast a strong recommendation.

I should have mentioned before that we're starting in an after-school program environment, rather than in a classroom. We're running a makerspace pilot program, so we don't necessarily have all of the limitations that would come with a class environment.
List of projects i used to do with classes of 20+ students aged 12 upwards.

Rail crossing
Car park barrier
traffic lights
Touch robot
Ultra sonic robot
Ultra sonic tape measure
Kinght rider lights
Disco lights
Lift
Automatic feed system
Burglar alarms
Automatic curtains, lights, heating control
Water alarms and level sensors
Pet feeder
Digital combination lock
Various games
Quiz monitor (which player pressed first)
Bike speedometer
LeafingLight (author)  rickharris4 years ago
Ooh, there are some great suggestions here. I'll do some research once summer hits so I can work out materials lists. Thanks for your ideas and expertise!
rickharris4 years ago
A selection of projects

http://blog.makezine.com/2013/04/14/47-raspberry-pi-projects-to-inspire-your-next-build/