This week, the network and communications giant gave the popular Linux computer to middle-school students -- most with no background in programming, understandably -- and taught them how to program.
Mashable reports that the Raspberry Pi, which is already used in some UK schools to teach basic programming skills, was the hot topic at the Broadcom MASTERS program. The scheme stands for Math, Applied Science, Technology, Engineering and Rising Stars -- replacing a previous science fair to spur on students in improving their computer skills.
The program was held in D.C. from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. 30 finalists were chosen from over a thousand students, where they were required to program a simple game. Broken up into six groups of five, the students had to code a game similar to Snake, found back in the days of brick-like handsets. With help from a Broadcom employee and a student from Howard University, the competitors were given an hour to use the Raspberry Pi to alter the game.
Submitted versions included turning the game into a multiplayer version and changing apples the snake had to eat into holographic versions.
"A key part of our mission at Broadcom is to promote math and science education at all levels. This is the culmination of a year’s worth of work." Broadcom co-founder Dr. Henry Samueli told Mashable.
The tiny PC is popular due to its small size and low cost. When the Raspberry Pi launched in February this year, high demand crashed the non-profit organisation the Raspberry Pi Foundation's website, and the soon exceeded 250,000 as suppliers struggled to cope.