15,000 schoolchildren across the UK will receive Raspberry Pi microcomputers in a bid to improve coding skills.
Google Giving, Google‘s philanthropic arm is picking up the bill.
The partnership was announced at Chesterton Community College in Cambridge, where children were given a coding lesson by Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt and Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton.
Google and Raspberry Pi are working with six educational partners, including CoderDojo, Code Club, Computing at Schools, Generating Genius and Teach First, to identify suitable children.
Exam board OCR will also be creating 15,000 free teaching and learning packs to go with the Raspberry Pis.
There have been increasing concerns from the technology sector about the level of IT literacy in schools. Many employers consider current education policies inadequate for the future of Britain’s tech industry.
Raspberry Pi said:
“This is a brilliant way for us to find kids all over the country whose aptitude for computing can now be explored properly.”
The Pi launched here a year ago, with the intention of getting young people interested in computer programming, with some suppliers selling out within minutes.
Model B is the more powerful of the two available versions, but still retails at £20 ($35).
However, the Pi is not the only one of its kind, and has a growing number of rivals, including the equally catchily-named Cotton Candy Android and BeagleBoard.