Raspberry Pi Competition Sparks Interest in STEM Careers

A competition run by PA Consulting encourages children to use Raspberry Pis in order to create projects that solve real world problems.

This year’s challenge was to invent projects that would drive innovation in the sports and leisure centre.

Anita Chandraker, chair of the competition’s judging panel and head of the digital service team at PA Consulting Group, said the competition was set up four years ago to make sure the next generation is passionate about innovation.  

She said: “Young people need to learn to code, but we’ve also seen and learnt that teamwork is equally important.

“We have seen teams where some children are into engineering, some into coding and others are great at marketing. It’s this teamwork which creates fantastic inventions.”

As part of the PA Consulting’s competition day entrants were given the opportunity to take part in a “speed networking” session with business leaders and people from the industry which allows the children to find out more about STEM careers.

Wing commander and diversity and inclusion advocate for the Royal Airforce, Sarah Maskell, said taking part in the speed networking exercise allowed her to showcase stem-related jobs in her sector. 

She added: “In my own organisation, the Royal Airforce, 50% of jobs are STEM related, so recognising that there’s a talent deficit in the STEM environment in the UK, especially for women, is absolutely critical. 

“We need to make sure we get this talent to work for us, but also make sure there’s a pipeline so that when these boys and girls who are currently in primary school or junior school move on to the secondary environment, they understand the route to working in these professions or industries.” 

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