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Oracle Academy and Raspberry Pi offer new initiative for African schools

Oracle Academy and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have partnered on a project to join thousands of schools in Africa and around the world in a global science experiment.

The initiative, known as Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station for Schools, will provide participating schools with a Raspberry Pi hardware kit for students to build and operate their own weather station, with the aim of gaining valuable skills spanning computing, meteorology and geography. Schools are encouraged to register their interest on Raspberry Pi’s website.

The first 1,000 kits have been funded by a grant from Oracle Giving, which along with Oracle Academy is part of the group’s philanthropic efforts, and will be provided to schools free of charge while supplies last. Half of the free kits have been set aside for Oracle Academy schools. In addition to building a weather station, the kits teach students to write application code that logs a range of weather data, including wind speed, direction, temperature, pressure, and humidity. Supplemental teaching materials for classroom use will be made available on the Oracle Academy website.

The Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station project is targeted at students aged 11-16 years old. Students will be asked to write applications to operate their weather station and record data in a cloud-hosted Oracle database, which they can then query through SQL elements developed in collaboration with Oracle Academy. They will also develop a website on Raspberry Pi to display local weather conditions that can be accessed by other participating schools. Additionally, students will be able to access a “Weather Station for Schools” microsite to blog about their experiences, interact with other participating schools around the globe, and receive online technical support.

Jane Richardson, Director, Oracle Academy EMEA, commented: “From application programming to database management, computer science skills can lead to rewarding and fulfilling careers. Our goal with the Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station project is not only to show students how computer science can help them measure, interrogate and understand the world better, but also to give them hands-on opportunities to develop these skills. We believe this is one of the best ways to inspire the next generation to take up the computer science roles that economies around the world need filled.”

Eben Upton, CEO, Raspberry Pi (Trading), stated: “This ambitious project introduces children to the art of data management and SQL. The kits themselves are really exciting, containing everything you would expect from a fully-functioning weather station. We’re confident that students will find the project a very engaging way of learning new and useful skills, and that they’ll have a lot of fun in the process.”

Colleen Cassity, Executive Director, Oracle Education Foundation, and Oracle Giving and Volunteers, commented: “The project will help to ensure that the next generation is well-prepared to lead and create value, not only in the digital economy, but also in the global community.”

Following the distribution of the 1,000 free weather station kits, they will be made available for schools to purchase at a later date.

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