updated 03:26 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2013
Donation to help encourage students to start programming
Schools in the United Kingdom will be receiving free Raspberry Pi Model B boards, courtesy of Google. The grant from Google Giving will help provide the schools around 15,000 units of the low-cost micro computer, in a bid to encourage more students to take up computer programming, and to encourage change in the way computing classes are currently taught.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation blog says it will work with Google and six UK educational partners to find students that could benefit from owning a Raspberry Pi, and will distribute computers and specially created teaching aids to various schools around the country. Google is also sponsoring teacher training in Information Communications Technology (ICT), something the company believes should be altered.
On a visit to a college in Cambridge, Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton hoped to "turn around the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skill sets of students applying to read computer science at university." The BBC reports that the number of students reading computer science in the UK has dropped by 23 percent at an undergraduate level in the last decade, with graduate level study also dropping by 34 percent. Google chairman Eric Schmidt, also visiting the college, has previously criticized the way ICT teaching in the UK is focused on the use of technology rather than creating software.
Earlier this month, it was believed that the Raspberry pi was close to one million sales, after one retailer claimed to have sold over 500,000 units since launch.