Cat Lamin: Raspberry Pi community profile

By Russell Barnes. Posted

From coding clubs to educational events, pi-top outreach and more, Cat Lamin has become a regular face within the Raspberry Pi community – and for good reason.

Cat Lamin: Raspberry Pi into the classroom

With a BA in English from the University of Birmingham, there was no question as to the profession Cat saw herself working in. “I’ve known I wanted to be a primary school teacher since I was about nine,” she admits, going on to explain how her A-level choices in Maths, Further Maths and English helped to keep her on track, completing her education with a PGCE at the University of Plymouth.

Cat went on to start teaching, with her speciality in Maths, and soon found herself lifted to the role of Head of ICT. “One of the children at my school told his mum that ‘Miss Lamin makes being geeky cool’, which was kinda cool,” she reveals.

Moving on from teaching, although she still dedicates a few hours every fortnight to a local school, Cat now works in the computer science community, offering her services across a multitude of platforms and events. “I get to teach in a school local to me for an afternoon every other week, so I’ve just been teaching Year 6 about interactive fiction, and can’t wait to bring in some Raspberry Pis for them to play with.”

Championing education with Raspberry Pi

For pi-top, creators of Raspberry Pi-based learning tools, Cat works as an Education Outreach Champion, running workshops and helping to grow the user community. Through pi-top she’s attended educational shows such as Bett, given talks at the Raspberry Pi Birthday Bash, and presented to the Argentinian Ministry of Education. “The other thing I do at pi-top is talk to the developers about their ideas for software, to try and help them make it classroom-friendly,” Cat explains. She then works to put developers in touch with teachers who may be able to offer help and advice.

Outside pi-top, Cat also dedicates her time to being an active member of the Raspberry Pi community. As a Picademy alumnus, she’s facilitated two further Picademy teacher training events, with her third due later this year. And if that’s not enough, she’s continued to add to her role by running Coding Evenings for teachers, offering a relaxed introduction into the world of computer science, and co-hosting Wimbledon Jam with Albert Hickey. “Occasionally,” she adds, “I’ve been known to organise something called a #geekeat, which is just a meal in central London or in Cambridge where anyone who is part of the Raspberry Pi community can meet up with no pressure to do anything other than talk and have fun.” So when we say Cat is active within the community, we mean it.

Cat will be attending PyCon later this year to give a talk on mental health, a subject she feels strongly about, and hopes to help raise awareness for developers who suffer in silence. And moving on, she’ll be joining fellow Picademy alumnus and Raspberry Pi Foundation Member Sway Grantham in delivering advanced Scratch training at the National STEM Centre in December.

  • Picademy As well as being a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator (RCE), Cat has helped to facilitate a few Picademy events, with her third happening this October in Cardiff. Cat is one of the many RCEs to agree that Picademy has had a massive impact on her life.
  • Maple Bear Canadian Schools Having previously provided training aids for the organisation, Cat was asked to visit Brazil for two weeks this year to train teachers in computational thinking at Maple Bear Canadian Schools in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and João Pessoa.
  • Hello World You’ll find Cat listed as a Featured Contributor in this term’s Hello World magazine. While discussing teaching coding to non-English-speaking students, she offers her own solutions to the issues faced by educators.

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