In May of 2014, Tutaweza, in cooperation with the Mbeya University for Science and Technology (MUST), presented a 3 week workshop on the Raspberry Pi computer system.  This special project was made possible by a fundraising campaign separate from our normal scholarship program.

Tutaweza has long promoted hands-on learning opportunities in Tanzanian classrooms; in computer and software engineering this is particularly important.  The Raspberry Pi provides an excellent vehicle for this.  It is a low cost, credit card sized computer which may be used for general purpose computing, as well as for dedicated applications such as entertainment systems or monitoring. It runs a version of the Linux operating system and has a wide variety of open-source software available, including office, scientific, statistical, and computer programming applications.

As a part of the workshop, Tutaweza provided 15 complete Raspberry Pi computers along with 8 GB flash cards for storage,  keyboards, mice, wireless network adapters and USB hubs, as well as a Lenovo laptop to be used as a server for the Raspberry Pi network.  MUST provided monitors for each of the computers, and the workshop was held at the MUST facility in Mbeya.

P1000016An assembled Raspberry Pi computer

The course spanned 3 weeks and over 30 students, including 2 instructors, attended.  The topics covered were:

  • Introduction to the Raspberry Pi
  • Assembly of the Raspberry Pi computer and accessories
  • Introduction to basic computing
  • The Linux operating system
  • Operating system maintenance, including user account and network management
  • Program maintenance, including program installation, removal and updates
  • Use of the Libre Office software, including word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation modules
  • An introduction to programming on the Raspberry Pi, featuring the Scratch and Python languages

P1000003-001Using the Raspberry Pi computer systems

Although the course was brief and a substantial amount of material was covered, it is expected that this introduction will be the start of a computer laboratory for MUST, in which students can gain valuable hands-on experience with a new generation of micro computing platforms.

P1000018Lynn Stricklan, Tutaweza President, along with some of the instructors and students

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