4000+ Words Draft Dissertation

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4000+ Words Draft Dissertation


This dissertation seeks to implement a small application to work alongside a Raspberry Pi to teach basic science in a game format. The first step in achieving this would be to identify an appropriate teaching and learning method using Raspberry Pi’s that would be effective within a school environment. From there this dissertation will study different approaches that can be applied to achieve the teaching and learning of basic science. This information will then be used to aid the development of a small application to work alongside a Raspberry Pi. The core of the dissertation will be testing the application it terms of usability and content, and evaluating the final implementation against the project aims and requirements to determine whether it has been successful.

The aim of the research and implementation project is to provide a detailed report evaluating the stages of the project and the method of learning, the teaching resources demonstrated in the form of a small a computing application and the overall reviews of the implemented application.

The computing implementation will work alongside the Raspberry Pi both as a teaching and learning tool for basic science. As well as the science, the students will have to learn basic programming. It is therefore imperative that steps need to be taken to ensure that there is an appropriate method teaching of programming in place.

Researching Python and Scratch prior to the activities to locate detailed and effective approaches of teaching will be very beneficial: also incorporating functional learning approaches by including interactive exercises will encourage students to contribute.

An additional personal involvement is ensuring to investigate potential equipment, hardware and software that may be used to discover the most efficient and effective ways of conducting the implementation. For example, reviewing different Raspberry Pi models and their specifications will ensure the best possible

Stages of work 

The actual implementation of a computing device will be divided into numerous sections/activities.

1. Creating an interactive chat bot as an introduction to text-based programming using Python

Students will learn the basics (e.g. main features, how to set a Raspberry Pi up and how to use one) to familiarise themselves with the Raspberry Pi in-preparation for up-coming activities. (Pi, Test Lessons, 2015)

2. Teaching the basic of the building of the web using Google Coder

Google Coder is a free open-source project that turns a Raspberry Pi into a simple platform that teaches the basics of building for the web.  This task is an introduction to web development and in-particular web pages (HTML and CSS). (Pi, HTML Lessons, 2015)

3. Teaching programming concepts through the process of creating new sounds with Sonic Pi (computing implementation)

Sonic Pi is an open source-programming environment designed to explore and teach programming concepts through the process of creating new sounds). This method is a more creative learning process. To complete this task students will need a more advanced knowledge, are more than one programming languages will be used. (Pi, Sonic Pi Lessons, 2015)

4. Learning networking using Raspberry Pi

Students will set up networks and be introduced to basic networking through practical activities. Learning how to network two or more Raspberry Pi’s together, how to program a Pi to sent messages to another and basic networking concepts including IP addresses, servers and clients. (Pi, Networking Lessons, 2015) 

How will it be evaluated? 

The implementation will be evaluated in two ways:

1.     Participants will be asked to provide feedback and their views on the project and the different activities they have participated in.

2.     Personal testing – testing the computing implementation to see if e.g. all of the data collected from the activities has in-fact been stored and if the implantation is fully functional and compatible.


How the problem has arisen?

In the past it was very rare for students to know the basics of how to code/program etc. as they were not taught it in school, meaning those who wanted to learn had to teach themselves. However, this has recently changed. In September 2013 a new computing curriculum was introduced and became a compulsory part of education. 

“A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems”. - (Gov, 2015)

Raspberry Pi’s are an affordable way of improving the interaction between students and computers however as this is a relatively new style of teaching, there is still room for improvement. This dissertation seeks to find the holes in the current format and help move it forward.

Review of hardware and software

Raspberry Pi Model Specification
The exact Pi model that will be used to conduct the research is under advisement so therefore it cannot be reviewed at the current time. There are however five Raspberry Pi models (the Model B+, the Model A+, the Model B, the Model A, and the Compute Module) to choose from. All models use the same System on Chip, the BCM2835, but other hardware features differ. The A and B use the same PCB, whilst the B+ and A+ are a new design but of very similar form factor. The Compute Module is an entirely different form factor and cannot be used standalone. (Pi, Model A, 2015)


Review of Python

Python is a suitable place to start coding, it is a modern, easy-to-learn, object-orientated programming language, with a powerful set of built-in data types and easy-to-use control constructs. (Python, 2015)


Review of Scratch

Scratch is a programming language that makes creating your own interactive stories e.g. games and music easy. Scratch is a great introductory tool to computer science. As people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important design and problem-solving skills, how to think creatively, and form computational ideas.  (Quora, 2015)

Equipment that will be used to conduct the research/implement the computing device

  • Raspberry Pi’s

  • SD cards

  • USB keyboards and mice

  • Micro USB power supply

  • HDMI cable to connect the Raspberry Pi to a monitor

  • enough monitors for each Raspberry Pi

Historical overview

What is a Raspberry Pi? It is a low cost credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It enables people of all ages to compute, and learn how to program in languages such as Scratch and Python. It is capable of doing everything you would expect from a desktop computer to do e.g. browsing the Internet, word-processing and playing games. (Pi, What is a raspberry pi, 2015)

Raspberry Pi’s were created as a way of improving the way kids were interacting with computers. Cambridge Laboratories found that the majority of A Level students applying for computer science degrees did not have much computing experience and so they wanted to change that with the creation on a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi’s goal is to advance the education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers /computer science and related subjects. (Pi, What is a raspberry pi, 2015) 

Literature Review

Olden day computing was extremely hands on for example the BBC Micro Computer; the technology we have now did not exist e.g. Google and YouTube that answer your questions within seconds. In those days if you did not know something, you would have to either read the instruction manual, find someone who had already experience it and knew the answer or figure it out for yourself by carrying out different methods.

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