About a month ago, I was having a conversation with a former college classmate, Mr. Jason Hurd, about his technology class outside of Atlanta, GA. Jason is a technology teacher that is looking to getting his students engaged in programming/coding skills, with some focus on robotics, as well as coding in general.
I ran into Mr. Hurd at the Delta Tau Delta, Zeta Chi Chapter‘s 30th Anniversary celebration. We are both Alumni members of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Zeta Chi Chapter (University of Southern Mississippi).
I know a lot of people equate being in a fraternity to parties, being crazy college kids, and so on. I’d say that we did a bit more than that. In the 30 years of the Zeta Chi Chapter, we’ve raised over $600,000 for various charities, with most going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, of which I’m very proud of.
Now back to the story. Mr. Hurd and I were talking about technology. He asked if I had ever heard of a Raspberry Pi. I indicated that I had, and that I had 3 of them (various models). He mentioned that he was putting together a program to get his students engaged in writing code for controlling robots and/or robotic control systems.
He mentioned that he had a Raspberry Pi, and was thinking of going that direction. I thought, what a good platform! If I recall correctly, that’s that the Raspberry Pi was originally intended for! He mentioned that he didn’t have enough funding to get everything started, and asked if would be willing to contribute my Raspberry Pi’s I had. Sure! Anything to help a brother!
I’ve had several Raspberry Pi’s over the years. I bought my first, was given one as part of a SimpliVity vExpert Giveaway, and my old boss even gave me one. They were sitting in my desk drawer, along with various other pieces of tech I had collected over the years. I was happy to contribute them. They weren’t doing me any good. Why not help some kids out?
Jason said that he was looking for 15 Raspberry Pi’s. It felt good getting him 1/5 the way there. That number of 15 was for 30 kids, with two kids sharing a each Raspberry Pi.
The Virtualization Community comes to the rescue.
As other virtualization folks had gotten Raspberry Pi’s over the years, and likely weren’t doing anything with theirs either, I mentioned what Mr. Hurd was trying to accomplish on the vExpert Slack. I immediately got responses from people including Jason Shiplett, Marcus Puckett, and Jason Benedicic. It was easy to send a U.S. address to Jason (Shiplett) & Marcus, but Jason (Benedicic) would likely have a more difficult time shipping his Raspberry Pi from outside the U.S. to a U.S. address. I had never setup an Amazon publicly facing list before. Once I got that setup, Jason (Benedicic) was able to buy one, which was shipped to me, which I re-shipped to Mr. Hurd. I later realized that I could put Mr. Hurd’s address in the list as a destination, and remove myself as a middleman.
More and more folks wanted to contribute. AJ Kuftic mentioned “there was a kit in your Amazon wish list, but it isn’t there now.” – I realized then, when a item in the list is bought, it is removed. I then added it back, and modified the counts. I took into account the number of kits that had been bought/contributed, which was about 7 at the time, and put the maximum at 30.
I figured that Mr. Hurd could do well with 30, given 30 students, to have a few spares, or possibly have a few for possible dedicated longer projects.
I then shared the Amazon list on the vExpert Slack, and Christian Mohn published this article asking for more: Let’s get the kids some RPi’s.
Since then more and more folks have contributed.
I’m sure I’m missing some folks, but I want to thank all those that have donated Raspberry Pi’s for Mr. Hurd’s class in no particular order (updated 14 MAY):
- Jason Shiplett
- Marcus Puckett
- Jason Benedicic
- Christian Mohn
- Mark Brookfield
- AJ Kuftic
- Steve Kaplan
- Jason Langer
- Hersey Cartwright
- John Nicholson
- Sandy Bryce
- Todd D’Amore
- Howard Marks
- Shane Williford
- Tim Davis
- Michael White
- Rob Nolen
- VDMChallenge (via Eric Wright)
- Michael Davis
- Jon Harris
- Kimberly Delgado
If you have contributed, and I haven’t listed your name, please let me know. I don’t (that I know of) have visibility into the Amazon list as far as who has or hasn’t purchased a kit. I’ve updated the total kit count to 40, just in case the community is generous enough to give that many. I figure 30 kids, with 1 each would be great, with a few spares.
If you have a Raspberry Pi that you aren’t using, and would like to donate it to Mr. Hurd’s class, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter – @jasemccarty.
The current “kit count” as of this writing, is 22. Again, everything beyond the initial 15, is a bonus.
I can only say that I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, and can’t thank everyone enough. Mr. Hurd has also been overwhelmed, and sends his thanks to everyone.