Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Carrie Anne Philbin earns MBE for services to education
Carrie Anne Philbin, Raspberry Pi Foundation’s director of educator support, has been awarded an MBE for her services to education.
Carrie Anne, from Great Cambourne, has helped to teach children and teachers alike how to code in the Python and Scratch programming languages using Raspberry Pi computers.
She was one of the foundation’s first employees, and has shaped its education programmes for the last six years, building a team - including many former computing teachers, like herself - who have trained thousands of educators and produced resources for teachers and learners around the world.
Most recently, the team created the Teach Computing Curriculum, which features 500 hours of free teaching resources for primary and secondary teachers, along with free online video lessons for students learning at home during the pandemic, in partnership with Oak National Academy. They have also created Isaac Computer Science, a free online learning platform for A-level teachers and students.
She said: “We’re living in an ever-changing world that is facing many challenges right now: climate change, democracy and human rights, oh and a global pandemic. These are issues that young people care about.
“I’ve witnessed this year after year at our international Coolest Projects technology showcase event for young people, where passionate young creators present the tech solutions they are already building to address today’s and tomorrow’s problems.
“I believe that equipped with a deeper understanding of technology, young people can change the world for the better, in ways we’ve not even imagined.”
Carrie Anne’s inspiration came at a young age. She always enjoyed arts and crafts and when her dad bought the family a Commodore 64, she loved the graphics she could make.
She said: “I vividly remember typing in the BASIC commands to create a train that moved on the screen with my dad.”
After reading history at university, Carrie Anne became an ICT technician at a secondary school, where she also ran several extra-curricular computing clubs for the students.
Encouraged to apply for the graduate teacher programme, she qualified within two years.
When Raspberry Pi came along, she used it to help engage her students.
In 2013, she wrote the computing book Adventures in Raspberry Pi in 2013 for teenagers and ran the popular YouTube channel Geek Gurl Diaries.
The led to here being invited to host the Computer Science video series on Crash Course, the educational YouTube channel created by Hank and John Green. Her 40-plus videos have received more than two million views so far.
A champion for diversity and inclusion in computing, she co-founded a grassroots movement of computing teachers dedicated to diversity and inclusion - the Computing At School #CASInclude group.
In 2019, she was 17th in Computer Weekly’s 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech shortlist for her role at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Of the MBE, Eben Upton, the creator of Raspberry Pi computer, told the Cambridge Independent: “It’s fantastic news and wonderful recognition for Carrie Anne and her team.”