The York Computer Science Raspberry Pi Challenge

Every year, we send those planning to enter the first year of an undergraduate course in Computer Science a free Raspberry Pi, once their place is confirmed in August. 

What is a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed and made in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. You can program pretty much anything with a Raspberry Pi and our Challenge encourages creativity!

The Raspberry Pi Challenge, 2016

Follow this link to see a video of the 2016 Challenge

Cannot see the video? Watch it on Youku logo

 The challenges this year consisted of:

  • The Oware Challenge, two Raspberry Pi computers battling against each other in a variant of the classic game. This was a knockout competition. 
  • The second element to the Challenge was the Blue Pi Thinking - a chance for entrants to give their creativity full rein and come up with the most ingenious use of their Pi. 
This year's prize winners were:
Oware Challenge:
  • 1st place, an iPad mini, sponsored by the Department of Computer Science and IBM, was awarded to Ashleigh Spencer.
  • 2nd place, £100 Amazon vouchers, sponsored by Thales, was awarded to Thomas Andrew.
Blue Pi Thinking:
  • The Industry Prize, £100 Amazon vouchers, sponsored by Mood International, was awarded to Matthew Stratford.
  • Most creative entry, £100 Pimoroni voucher sponsored by the University's Research and Enterprise Directorate, was awarded to Jacob Allen.
Well done and 'thank you' to all who took part!

The Challenges - for new undergraduates

We usually run the Raspberry Pi Challenge each year. If we decide to do so in 2017, the process is simple. If you receive an offer for a place to study in Computer Science at York, once this place is confirmed in August 2017, you will receive your free Raspberry Pi.

Blue Pi Thinking entrant

Once you have your Raspberry Pi you will have access to York's VLE (Visual Learning Environment) where you will be able to sign up for either, or both, of the two challenges we're setting. We'll provide you with help and support along the way through the VLE, including a few tips and tricks to use with your Raspberry Pi.

Challenge 1: What will you think of?

The first challenge, Blue Pi Thinking, is open to all, even if you don't have any programming experience. The challenge is to produce the most creative thing you can think of with your Raspberry Pi. This could be anything from trying to build a robot, running a media or web server, or using it to control electronic appliances.  The possibilities are endless!

Some real-life examples of what you can do with a Raspberry Pi:

Challenge 2: Test your strategic thinking

Battleships Raspberry pi Challenge

The second challenge will test your ability to think strategically as well as being a good introduction to programming. If you've programmed before, it's a chance to challenge yourself - all levels of programming experience can enter.

The challenges will culminate in an exciting event hosted in the Department at the end of your first week at University and all first years and academic staff will be invited to attend. There is also an opportunity to win some great prizes from our industrial partners who will also be attending the final event, and will be judging the entries. This will be a fantastic introduction in to the Department and a chance to meet your new classmates and lecturers as well as the opportunity to win some amazing prizes!

Find out more about the Raspberry Pi



Logo of Raspberry Pi



 IBM logo


Logo of Thales Group



Any questions?

If you want more information about the Raspberry Pi Challenge, contact Dr Will Smith, our Admissions Tutor, who is organising the Challenge.

Did you know?

  • The Pi was invented and is now built in the UK - so we'll be supporting the British technology industry.
  • It weighs only 45g and can sit in the palm of your hand.
  • You could win great prizes from our industrial sponsors.
  • The Challenge will end in your first week in York. The creative challenge will be judged by our industry sponsors, the strategic Challenge tournament will take place, and there will be drinks and a chance to meet other new students.