The York Computer Science Raspberry Pi Challenge

Each year, for the last five years, we have sent our new undergraduate Computer Science students a free Raspberry Pi after their places were confirmed in August.

Students were given access to York's VLE (Visual Learning Environment) where they are able to sign up for either, or both, of the two challenges we set. We provided students with help and support along the way through the VLE, including a few tips and tricks to use with their Raspberry Pi.

The challenges culminated in an exciting event hosted in the Department at the end of the first week at University. Participants had the opportunity to win some great prizes from our industrial partners who attended the final event and judged the entries. It provided a fantastic introduction to the Department and a chance for new students to meet classmates and lecturers as well as the opportunity to win some amazing prizes!

The 2017 Raspberry Pi Challenge

Follow this link to see a video of the 2017 Challenge

Cannot see the video? Watch it on Youku logo

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 2017 Challenges

Challenge 1: What will you think of?

The Blue Pi Thinking Challenge was about using the Raspberry Pi in the most creative and interesting way possible. Entries over the years have included people controlling model trains, interfacing with drum kits, controllling a freeview TV box, acting as a portable microscope, tracking light sources with a robotic arm, displaying the mood of the UK (crawled from twitter) on a coloured map, 3D scanning objects into minecraft and many other great ideas.

Challenge 2: Test your strategic thinking and develop your programming skills

The second challenge is about programming the Raspberry Pi to play a game and takes the format of a knockout competition. This year it involved two Raspberry Pi computers battling against each other in a variant of the ancient Egyptian game called Senet. 

This challenge tests the ability to think strategically as well as being a good introduction to programming. All levels of programming experience can enter.

2017 Prizes and Winners

This year's prize winners were:

Blue Pi Thinking

  • The Industry Prize, £100 Amazon vouchers, sponsored by Mood International, was awarded to Danny Roberts.
  • Most creative entry, £100 Pimoroni voucher sponsored by the Department of Computer Science, was awarded to Peter Walkington.
  • Runners up prizes: Goody bags donated by Raspberry Pi were awarded to Jordan Cameron, Joshua Venters, Thomas Turner and Lloyd Banner​.

Senet Challenge

  • 1st place, an iPad, sponsored by IBM, was awarded to Joseph Doughty.
  • 2nd place, £100 Amazon vouchers, sponsored by Thales, was awarded to Benjamin Gray​.

Well done and thank you to all who took part!

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 the Computer Science Admissions Team, who organise the Challenge.

Did you know?

  • The Pi was invented and is now built in the UK - so we are supporting the British technology industry.
  • The Challenge culminates in the Welcome Reception and Raspberry Pi Challenge Event at the end of the first week of term.
  • At this event, students compete in the challenges, meet our industrial partners and win great prizes from our industrial sponsors.
  • The Challenge gives our students the chance to connect with our industrial partners right from their very first week at university.