Families learn about the digital revolution at fun Norwich Raspberry Jam festival

Eastern Daily Press      PUBLISHED: 18:01 20 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:54 20 August 2017

James Livesey with his mother Claire Riseborough, pictured at a previous event. Ms Riseborough co-organised the Norwich Raspberry Jam event. Pic: Sophie Wyllie.

Children, parents and grandparents learned how easy it is to get involved in the digital revolution at a one-day interactive festival.

Step Into Tech Young Makers’ Tech Club member Ruben Guscott with a 3D printer at the Norwich Raspberry Jam festival at The Forum in Norwich. Picture: CLAIRE RISEBOROUGH

The second Norwich Raspberry Jam event at The Forum on Sunday, August 20 attracted 150 people aged eight to 80 focused around the benefits of a low-cost credit-card sized computer known as a Raspberry Pi which teaches the fundamentals of programming.

It was organised by City of Norwich School A-level student and budding engineer Archie Roques and Trowse mother Claire Riseborough who is founder of social enterprise group Step Into Tech, which teaches 8 to 18-year-olds digital code through its Young Makers’ Tech Club.

Mr Roques said: “The idea is to show people of all ages and abilities how easy it is to get started in technology and make your own digital things, whether that is programming, electronics or design. We want to show how easy and cheap it is to do. It is popular with families. It was really good.

“The event is important because technology has become a vital part of our lives. It is rare now to find a job where programming is not useful.

Claire Riseborough giving a talk at the secomd Norwich Rasberry Jam festival at The Forum in Norwich. Picture: SENT IN BY CLAIRE RISEBOROUGH

“It is next big thing and has fun results.”

Raspberry Pi machines cost as little as £5 and can be bought from high street and online stores.

They are plugged into computer monitors and televisions.

Mr Roques said: “The school curriculum is changing which is fantastic. Rather than being seen as nerdy and weird, programming is now seen as mainstream. The issue is that kids can go further with their skills. Once they reach a certain stage there are not many groups to practise the skills. Claire is trying to make that space with the Step Into Tech group.”

The Forum in Norwich where the Norwich Raspberry Jam festival was held on August 20, 2017. Picture: CLAIRE RISEBOROUGH

Raspberry Jam events are held across Britain and the world and the first Norwich festival was held in May 2017.

Sunday’s event involved talks from digital experts, workshops for participants, a drop-in area for people to try using a Raspberry Pi, a balloon-popping robot game and a DIY rock band karaoke machine.

Visitors could also see a sensing hat for the blind designed by members of the Young Makers’ Tech Club.

Ms Riseborough said: “This event is great for Norwich.”

For details about the Step Into Tech group visit www.stepintotech.org

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