JamPackedUK at Manchester Makefest


The Jam Packed team took workshops, challenges and our latest recruit, the dalek (be careful out there), to the Manchester Makefest on 8 & 9 August.


Raspberry Pi Challenge Corner

Hosted at the Museum of Science and Industry, we joined friends old and new for a weekend of computing, making and shared digital adventures as we added our own series of workshops to the programme.


Ask the Family

More collaborative challenges through gaming with Python and Scratch and some memorable (we can still hear them now) musical compositions from new Sonic Pi converts.  Problem solving using the Raspberry Pi electronics kits gave pairs the opportunity to try out the driver / navigator approach and support each other on their journeys to success as lightbulb moments.


Lightbulb Moments Galore

And not forgetting Minecraft Hack at a Makefest.  We witnessed subterranean architecture on a grand design scale from some groups and vowed to share some ingenious new hacks through our next events.


Choose a Challenge

And in the spirit of the Maker community, Claire decided to spend a little time with our new friends from Madlab Edinburgh to prepare for our next festival in Hamilton at the end of August.

Making progress with soldering skills, we now have our own team bagpipes : )


Where to Next?

See you in Scotland?

Full photo gallery here.

Jam Packed UK at Digital Garage, Leeds


The Jam Packed tour visited Leeds again on Saturday 25th July, in partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Google.org.


Jam friends reunited

Over 80 people registered to join us at the Raspberry Jam event for a day of computing fun, talks, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

All with the excitement and potential of the Raspberry Pi mini computer at the heart of what we’d planned. And a bit more besides.


(Even) More Minecraft Madness

Workshops to get started with Raspberry Pi and through a widening range of interest and complexity levels dependent on each group and their requests.

Extending Python programming skills, through building in Minecraft or not, proved a popular choice in Leeds!


New collaborations


Project board challenges for Pi

The team from York Hack Space also joined us and that meant our Maker Space got a tad more ambitious; particularly as they assembled their Space Hack Challenge.


Makerspace at the Jam

An increased range of activities and projects, incorporating Raspberry Pi and Arduino as the basis to hack with, gave way to more conversations, thoughts, ideas and inspiration towards next steps for everyone.


Space Hack Challenge

And actually, some new boards for some to consider too, but all to encourage collaboration and supporting ideas to share.

Jam Packed Photo Gallery

Interested in joining in with more Raspberry Pi activities and Jams in Leeds?  More dates here

Raspberry Jam events in Leeds


Starting on 7th October, Claire will be hosting a monthly Raspberry Jam in Leeds.  It’ll be on the first Wednesday of every month.

Register here for future events which will be held at Swallow Hill Community College, Leeds.

Dates are now in the diary until March 2016 when the Raspberry Jams will run between 6 – 8 pm.

Find out more about the Raspberry Jam community and see Leeds on the worldwide calendar here.

Raspberry Jam, UTC Media City


UTC@MediaCityUK were our hosts for this Raspberry Jam event on Saturday 6th June; a day when we were privileged to join them as they delivered their first workshops to their soon-to-be cohort of Year 10 students.

The UTC also opened their doors to the local and wider community through an open invite to the Jam.


New challenges


Sonic Pi – New inputs for music

The event facilitated even more collaborative learning opportunities than usual as the Jam community shared and worked with students during workshops and hacktivities.



A Raspberry Pi Lab and a Gaming Zone meant 2 rooms simultaneously running workshops throughout the day and also with a Hackspace to share projects and ideas.






Sonic Compositions


Shared music pieces


PyGame mischief




Activities with Monk Makes


Pi, Lights, Action

Hackspace projects:

Java radio station, Pi-cam activities, multi-player Minecraft challenges galore and more all controlled using Raspberry Pi.


More Hacktivities


Pi-Cam projects


New opportunities with multi-player Minecraft


Server set for more challenges

The Jam gave more chances of extended learning challenges through resources and tools shared online and through workshops.

Either from the teacher toolkit, or hands-on opportunities with Raspberry Pi and electric paint, we saw new projects born out of group tinkering.




DOTS Boards

Full photo gallery

JamPackedUK, Salford


H2DF @ All Hallows, Salford

Hack to the Future – Friday 5th June 2015


Dave modelling a Minecraft block?

Opportunities for CPD were planned around computing challenges for 2 groups of Year 8 students, during an extended morning session. The students had already selected computer science as an option for the next academic year.


Reflective practice : )


New collaborations

The Computing department at the host school had identified physical computing as an area to engage and enthuse KS3 students through enrichment activities. Already the teachers had invested development time and funding with Raspberry Pi and Arduino devices and were keen to extend their project ideas through progression of learning opportunities.


Y10 CA focus

During the afternoon a group of Year 7 students were guided through the Geocraft project with David Ames using Minecraft Pi and Ordnance Survey maps whilst Year 10 students took a focus with their GCSE course.


Intro to Geocraft


First blocks coded

Pedagogy in practice was fundamental during the day and different approaches were demonstrated through group-work and peer review during the day.


More block creations


Testing times

Activities to develop problem solving skills using the Raspberry Pi with Scratch, Python and Minecraft, alongside Play-Hack-Share with open source software gave a range of scenarios for teachers to discuss, reflect and integrate into their own planning.


Hack the Web


Crazy Pi Inventions


What is it? What isn’t it?


Minecraft Zone

Teacher feedback:

“Relaxed and very informative; not intimidating at all” Tim Cooper

“Seeing how engaged the pupils were and how they made progress. I tool away some ideas to implement in the classroom” Wahida Hamid

“Good environment and engagement of pupils.  Gave me ideas on how to implement Pi in my own classroom” Josh Rooke

“It was great to see the pupils of all abilities engaged in the activities” L.Buckley

“Gaining insights into challenges for school based computing and Alan’s fostering of inquiry based learning” Zara Khan

“Good to see engagement with Pi at KS3” Daniel Boyle

“Excellent hands-on session with motivated students who developed an interest in programming” William Hughes

Full photo gallery

Family Hack Jam – Friday 5th June 2015


Family challenges

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Teams of families and friends came together to solve problems and tackle localised challenges with a literary output.


Creating interactive fiction

Groups used mainly Twine as an interactive fiction tool or Scratch to design game which told their intended story.

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Collaborations developed during the course of the evening, helped along by review opportunities, spying missions and the fabulous hospitality of the school.


From comments at the end of the evening we doubt that’ll be the last family evening at All Hallows, and there were definite signs of families downloading the tools to continue their fictional lines out of school : )


Stories completed!

Full photo gallery

Jam Packed UK, Haddington, East Lothian



The Haddington community (and beyond) welcomed us with their unforgettable enthusiasm, drive and excitement to host and plan a Jam Packed computing festival.

Teachers from surrounding secondary and primary schools, software developers, families, community friends, council representatives and members of the tech community came together at Knox Academy for this 2 day computing festival featuring 3 events.

Andy McSwan and David Gilmour were instrumental in bringing everybody together so it seems fitting to use their thoughts, words, photographs and general artistic flair & style to write this guest post.

Hack to the Future – Friday


Photo courtesy of David Gilmour – full gallery below *

“We joined up with the Jam Packed team to welcome 59 pupils from primary schools across East Lothian for our Hack to the Future Event. During the morning the pupils got to experience 4 different activities from digital storytelling using Twine, making a plain game in scratch interesting, coding a squirrel using Python and hacking Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi. All pupils spoke positivly of the event.” Andy McSwan.


Play – Hack – Share

The children became involved in 3 workshops as teachers used the opportunities through ‘pedagogy in practice’ to plan, reflect and extend their own networks.   Ideas shared between primary and secondary schools, not just transitional projects, built on existing and new partner activities.


Building on the local teacher network

The digital creators very quickly became accomplished ‘drivers and navigators’ as they shared challenges to collaborate on gaming projects, and used peer review techniques to improve their work.


Team Challenges


Games’ hack

Using ‘Sabotage‘ as a tool to debug their projects proved popular to all and particularly to teachers citing multiple variations on the theme to take forward.


Review time


Hack for good? Hack for mischief?

The carousel of activities were based around a Raspberry Pi classroom and Gaming Lab in the school’s library which gave us the flexibility to share ideas throughout the day.



As always with Jam Packed we were thrilled to have software developers and specialists from industry to join us throughout the weekend and to bring their expertise and enthusiasm to the children’s projects.


Collaborations with industry gaming developers. Minecraft anybody?

Teacher feedback:

“Seeing how I can implement Twine and Raspberry Pi into my own class….great to see how to use these resources” Emma Webster

“Raspberry Pi Minecraft was a new experience for my pupils” Karla Pearce

“To me, Twine was fascinating” A Murdoch

“Opportunities to discover new ideas such as Twine and physical computing options (electric paint) and to hear how others are using them” David Gilmour

“Some of the best CPD possible…..and a sense of community” Andy McSwan

“Pupils were wholly engaged with the projects this morning. Gave me a chance to see how I can share these ideas with colleagues” Kirsty Dunn

Family Hack Jam – Friday evening


“The Family Hack Jam brought together groups from all over the Lothians with some coming from the city centre to participate. They created interactive stories ranging from the fate of Sherlock Holmes, who was having a pint in an Edinburgh pub, to a grisly ending for Justin Bieber. Just watching families sit down together to create and collaborate using Computing Science skills together was a great sight – Something I hope as a community we can build on in the future!” Andy McSwan


Newly formed collaborations at the Hack Jam

Families, friends, and a newly formed Dad’s team worked together to produce their collaborations using either Twine to create an interactive fiction piece or Scratch to produce a game.


Sharing through digital storytelling

Teacher feedback:

“Positive aspects were collaborative work from the children and learning about a program that will be easy to introduce in class” Angie Kinghorn

“Family community involvement” Kirsty Dunn

“Great ideas I can use with classes on Monday” Andy McSwan

Raspberry Jam – Saturday


Pi-Zone at the Jam

“The Raspberry Jam itself was like a whirlwind…..the highlight of the weekend however was the 8 year old girl who led a workshop on Sonic Pi (with a little help from Claire of course).  From my point of view it was great to see what’s possible for our young people and at a very early age with a little bit of encouragement.” Andy McSwan



With the usual Raspberry Jam recipe of workshops, Pi-Zone, project areas and hack space and also room to share thoughts with a lightning talk, there was a variety of activities for everybody attending; young and more mature : )


Live coding with Sonic Pi


Testing, testing : )

Again, the younger generation were instrumental in sharing their experiences and talents as robotics and data projects though music were shared and which inspired all.



We introduced some visitors to programming for the first time using Python and took the Pygames and Raspberry Pi Dots boards tools to create shared projects.


DOTS board with Pi


Teacher feedback:

“Kodu was interesting, Sonic Pi was also really interesting and Minecraft was fun” David Gilmour

“Lots of things to take back to school” Kirsty Dunn

“Positive aspects included meeting new people working with computing in the area” Kate Farrell

* More from David’s Photo Gallery

Jam Packed UK’s Photo Gallery link.