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Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls
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Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by charlesl2 on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:42 pm

I need to configure several Raspberry Pi's for grade 1-5 students. There is about an equal mix of boys and girls. But, lets face it, boys are going to be interested in projects about robots, and the girls about wearable electronics. At this age neither is going to be interested in programming for programmings sake.
I've got Scratch2, Tux Paint, and Tux Typing on all computers.

Any suggestions for additional customizations, especially for girls?

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by nickine9 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:27 am

are the learning outcomes the same for both groups?

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by charlesl2 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:44 am

Yes. And the systems will be configured the same for all. The primary objectives are to learn some typing skills, log in and out, menu navigation, and to use technology as a tool they control to enhance their life.
The plan is to make available a set of tools and projects to choose. As far as practicable, they will be permitted to self organize without enforcing a boy/girl divide.
Classes in specific subjects are planned.
We have Scratch2, GCompris, kdeedu, Minecraft Pi, PyChess, Tux Paint, Tux Typing, Calibre, and LibreOffice. The older students should be able to perform some basic operations in Writer and Impress.

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by charlesl2 on Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:24 pm

Some preliminary results from a not-statisticly-significant sample.
Wallpaper from Disney Frozen is most popular among girls. I had to go digging for wallpaper for Anna and Olaf as I orginally had only Elsa.
Halloween theme wallpaper is most popular for boys.

It is difficult to keep the boys away from Minecraft. We have projects for Minecraft (python, some design projects), but need to get them to branch out. Pychess was a distant 2nd for the older boys.
The girls like Tux Paint, the gcompris math modules, and anything with a pinguin for the mouse. Parents like Tux Typing. It took about 5 minuites for the kids to learn to switch between Minecraft or Tux Paint when they thought no one was looking, to Tux Typing whenever an adult looked in.

We definately need an "explore" science app. That is what we once called "general science" . That is something that is suitable for about a week on a subject ending with a trip to the zoo or walk through a botanical park, etc.

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by velocipedal on Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:00 am

How about you do a module on robotics and a module on wearables so that these young people can discover for themselves what they are drawn to instead of perpetuating gender stereotypes?

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by charlesl2 on Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:55 am

That is the basic plan. We will present modules detailed enough so the kids know the choices, but then permit them to follow their own interests. The problem is that there is a lot of stuff on robotics, but not much on other choices, like wearables..
One project I did that both boys and girls took to equally was animatronic toys. Specifically, we put robots inside plush dogs. They would follow a tone generator. Everyone liked that.

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by Disciple on Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:44 pm

I'm a male. I have no kids, and haven't been one myself for many years, but here's my thought.
I've seen boys and girls become motivated by the "secret messages" dynamic. Social media and texting are so "everyday", but what about assembling and programming one's own 2-way communication devices? Send and receive plaintext, images, sound bites. Learn encryption. Use a single device as a locked note keeper for personal journals, or as an offline "message bottle" for a friend with the key. Be a secret agent.

That's what I have at present. If links to existing resources are needed, I have none. I'd have to google from square one like anybody else. I share it for what it's worth. Best of success.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

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Re: Customize Raspberry Pi for Girls

by charlesl2 on Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:09 pm

Not a bad idea. I'll look to see if it is possible to use Scratch2 to do this on a Pi3. Perhaps we could adapt a Feather to build some sort of Dick Tracy wrist radio or "decoder ring". Also perhaps sync wearable LEDs between two or more students. Some of the dance students might like that. Need to keep soldering to a minimum. Most are too young for that.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.