Southend Tech Festival – Southend Raspberry Jam 12

Sunday March 4th 2018 – 10.00am – 4.30pm
The Hive Enterprise Centre
Victoria Avenue

A Southend Tech Festival showcasing local tech companies, innovative projects, inspirational talks, digital skills workshops and professional networking.
We are looking for people to do talks, show projects, help with workshops.
Book tickets below and let us know if you can help.

Raspberry Pi, Microbit coding workshops
Scratch workshop using IBM Watson AI Machine learning
3D printing and design
MinecraftPi Python beginner workshop by the Pioneer winners – The
Talk by Sean Tracey, IBM :  “IBM Watson + AI in computing and society”
Ragworm Talk : “Making your hardware projects a reality”
Learn to program Pepper, Southend Council’s £17,000 emotive robot
Smart City / IoT talks
SenseHat – run your code in space and IoT Smart Cities workshop
Raspberry pi xylophone & rubik cube
Arnav – AthmaPi and VivifyMe (for dementia suffers) ; Smart Stick
Arduino led projects
Raspberry Pi LAMP stack
electromagnetics demos
robot “characters”
Virtual Reality
GCHQ’s Python Enigma Machine encryption workshop
Lots of robots, projects etc.
Node Red workshop
Learn to solder
Technological Tricksters – Pioneers winners
Pirates – Pioneers twice highly commended
Talk iSocialcircle – new startup business just launching
Code Club/young people run workshops
Special VIP guests
What the young people have been up to :
Running your Python code in the International Space Station.
Code Club
Pioneers video making competition

We are celebrating the 6th Birthday of the Raspberry Pi computer and the 4th Birthday of the Southend Raspberry Jam as part of an international festival of over 100 Raspberry Jams around the world.

Lots more being organised – want to take part ? Let us know on the booking form – scroll down for more tickets :

Booking/times for talks and workshops will be announced shortly to allow fair allocation for late bookers.

Preview of some of the activities coming up :

Training IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence and then using Scratch to interface and create a game using AI and machine learning.



Photos of Jam 10

Photos of Jam 11

Arnav is showing AthmaPi and VivifyMe (for dementia suffers) ; Smart Stick

Find out we got up to at the last Jam.

Photos of Jam 10

Photos of Jam 11






Thanks to The Hive Enterprise Centre for sponsoring the venue for free.


Digital Southend Working Group

A collaborative group of advocates and activists, helping to develop and promote Southend as a leading location for the digital and creative sectors.


Blatella – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
City Fibre – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
Cultural Engine – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Digital Exploration Trust – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Echo Changes – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
eGenie – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube
Essex Employment and Skills Board – WebsiteFacebook,   Twitter , LinkedIn …
Focal Point Gallery – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Metal – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
My Town Southend – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Olympus Keymed – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Onecom – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube
Primary Image – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
South Essex College – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram
South Essex Teaching School Alliance Trust – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Southend Borough Council – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
Southend Tech – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …
The Hive – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram
University of Essex – WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram
Ventrica – Website,  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn …

Contact us if you would like an entry added or edited. Please include a short description, website, social media and email address if required.



Points of discussion :

Skills and Education: Bringing education at all levels closer to businesses in the digital and creative sectors, supporting placements, internships and apprenticeships, product development and research together with local tech events (such as Raspberry Jams)

– Communication between all of the players working in the Digital Tech sectors including business to business networking, links between academia and business….making sure everyone knows what is going on and sharing successful stories

– Place Making and Branding: Collectively telling the story of how Southend is emerging as a digital and creative tech centre, supporting this through promotions/branding (as other areas have done including Silicon South) and linking to wider quality of life offer in Southend

– Sharing information on infrastructure improvements that can underpin a strong digital tech sector

– Helping Southend Council and other partners to develop proposals, programmes and opportunities (including Smart Cities) that may bring in funding to support the development of digital tech in the area (a specific example of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor was shared by Metal at the meeting)

– Identifying, in partnership with Southend Council, opportunities for local micro and SME businesses to engage with innovative uses of ‘Big Data’ and secure contracts and commissions on digital projects and programmes (local supply chains)

– Communities and Social Benefit: Ensuring that our charities have the digital capability to thrive and that our citizens are supported to gain the benefits of digital technology

Your Code in Space

“Your Code in Space” workshops
Monday 23rd October 2017 12pm-4pm
at The Hive Enterprise Centre, Southend, SS2 6EX

Teams aged 14yrs and under are guaranteed to have their code run in space !!





The Python code which will be run on the code is here :

Teams code the Raspberry Pi computers and sensors on the International Space Station using beginner Python coding (no experience of Python necessary, suitable for ages 7yrs+).

Bring a friend if you can or form a team on the day.
Bring a charged laptops if you can, although you may be able to use another team member’s if you don’t have one. (Tablets/smartphones will also be helpful.)

Parents must accompany children and we are looking for volunteers to help mentor.
Adults are welcome to attend and observe and/or take part in the coding – but can’t have their code run in space or enter the competition.


Also, teams 19yrs and under can enter a competition to run a space science experiment which is eligible for a Bronze Crest Award. (Experience of Python programming needed on the team.)

Facilities and room hire sponsored by The Hive Enterprise Centre and Enterprise4Good as part of Southend #TechCityonSea.

See Tim Peake showing the Astro Pi computers on the International Space Station last year :

Astro Pi using humidity detectors to sense breath :

Astro Pi celebrates anniversary of ISS Columbus module

and the code at :


Southend Code Club

Aged 8-14yrs ? Learn to make games, animations and apps using coding languages like Scratch, Python and Sonic Pi.

Code Club UK is a nationwide network of educators and volunteers who run free coding clubs for young people.

See here for details of local events.

Southend Digital Professionals

Southend Digital Professionals is a monthly event for those who work in tech-related jobs, or those interested in all things tech!

Thursday 1st March 2018 6pm-9pm
The Hive Enterprise Centre, Southend

Monthly meetups continue at The Old Waterworks from April :

Strictly over 18 years old.
Please bring drinks and refreshments.

Future dates: First Thursday of the month. Back at The Old Waterworks for 5th April, 3rd May…

The format of our events will normally include an update on what’s happening locally in Southend and Essex, followed by either discussions or talks on different technology subjects. We will cover topics such as computer software, website design, cloud and internet technologies, hardware, Raspberry Pi, and much more.

The agenda is open to you! If you have any ideas for talks, we’re especially keen to hear from you.

Join us at Southend Digital Professionals to broaden your tech knowledge, as well as meeting new people from your local area!


Location and Facilities

We are also looking for people to do talks of around 15-25 mins. Please contact via Eventbrite if you are interested.

Projector, power sockets and wired/wireless internet are available.

Please check the location as The Old Waterworks is hard to find and has change recently. See here for location details and free parking.

Thursday 1st February 2018 7pm-9pm
The Old Waterworks, Southend

7.00 pm – Arrival
7.30 pm -Talk by Damian – IoT in business
Andy Lewis, SimulSystems Ltd – Easy programming IBM Watson Machine Learning AI and Scratch
8.30 pm – Networking
9.00 pm – Suggested departure.


Thursday 2nd November, The Old Waterworks, Southend
Talk – Artificial Intelligence Ethics” – Andy Lewis, SimulSystems Ltd




Book future dates: First Thursday of the month 1st March at The Hive’s #TechCityonSea, Back at The Old Waterworks for 5th April, 3rd May…
Southend Digital Professionals will be taking part at the Southend Tech Festival / Southend Raspberry Jam at The Hive on 4th March 2018 with lots of talks, skills workshops, projects and networking at the end. More details here.

Southend Coding Evening #5 for teachers, Raspberry Pi mentors, Code Club volunteers

Please book below for the fifth Southend Coding Evening for Teachers, Raspberry Pi mentors and Code Club volunteers which will take place at :

The Old Waterworks
North Road
Southend on Sea
(50 m south of the BP garage on West Road)

On Thursday 6th July 2017 from 6pm to 9pm.

An opportunity for teachers, Raspberry Pi mentors, Code Club volunteers and industry professionals to come together to discuss computing education in an informal and friendly environment.


Chelmsford Raspberry Pi controlled art installation

Artist Victoria Button, and Southend Tech participants created an art project installation at the High Chelmer shopping centre in Chelmsford.

Live data from various council Smart City IoT pollution monitoring sites around Chelmsford was obtained via the internet. The Raspberry Pi uses that data to control DMX lights which project through four ‘leaves’ made out of squashed plastic bottles. The colours change from white light (no pollution) through to red light (lots of pollution).

There was a talk at the Chelmsford Raspberry Jam and Cambridge Raspberry Jam about the project.

Here is a video of Southend Tech and Victoria’s talk at the last Cambridge Raspberry Jam (photos are below) :


Microbit Library loan scheme

Micro:bits are now available to borrow from over 1,200 libraries in the UK including Southend Libraries and Essex Libraries. Card holders can also reserve Microbits via the shared catalogue.

The Micro:bit Education Foundation has kindly chosen to donate micro:bits to Southend Tech, from their sponsorship scheme, including 60 micro:bits for Southend Libraries to trial a micro:bit loan scheme.

Southend Tech will support and promote with workshops at libraries, other venues and technology events.

Library Workshops

Microbit drop in workshops
Thursday 1st June
Leigh Library 10.30am – 12.30pm
Southchurch Library 2pm – 4pm
Westcliff Library 4.15pm
Find out how to use Microbits and borrow to try at home.


Launch at Southend Raspberry Jam

We launched the Micro:bit lending scheme in Southend at the Southend Raspberry Jam #11

David Whale from the Microbit Education Foundation took part in the keynote talk to explain the scheme, we had two beginner micro:bit workshops (PXT by @duck_star and MicroPython by @rareblog) and there were lots of micro:bit projects being shown.


What’s in the kit

This is the very first micro:bit which was borrowed by a member of the public and brought to the Raspberry Jam. There’s a micro:bit, usb cable to connect to a computer, batteries and instructions. It is the equivalent of the retail “Microbit Go” which costs £15.

Just head on over to to start learning and coding the micro:bit.

Help, I’m not sure where to start

There will be organised workshops and drop in activities around Southend and Essex where you can learn about using the micro:bit.
See here for more dates and locations.

About the national scheme

The Southend Libraries loan scheme was part of a trial being led by Amy Hearn at Kirklees Libraries and also involves Coventry, Newcastle and Blackpool Libraries.

Feedback on what works will be shared to roll the scheme out nationally at a later date.

Amy will present the scheme and latest updates at the SCL conference in June.


But I’ve already got a Micro:bit

Why not try using the radio feature to get micro:bits talking to each other. For those who want to experiment with building something more ambitious, you can borrow up to 14 items.

OK, I’m hooked and I’d like to do more

There’s a thriving community of people doing coding and electronics in Southend and Essex who’d love to help you get involved.

See for more dates and locations or contact us.

Zbit:connect, who we see at loads of events, has kindly donated an add on board to get us started with more advanced electronics.



Southend Pioneers Competition Make It Outdoors

Sat 3rd June 2017 – 11am – 4pm
Sat 24th June 2017 – 11am – 4pm
at The Old Waterworks, North Road, Southend, SS0 7AB

Theme: Make it Outdoors

Build a game or app using Raspberry Pi, Microbit, Scratch, Python, mobile phone, HTC Vive, laptops, 3D printer or any other kind of tech, hardware or software you may have.
Share on social media using the hashtag #makeyourideas and make a video showing your project.
Bring your own laptop, tech and ideas or hack some of our projects and kit.

Entrants will receive ongoing local mentoring, a chance to demo their projects at our Raspberry Jams and invites to more advanced workshops like cyber security, AI, games development.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation will select winners based on their video who will be invited to a digital making camp in London, have their projects professionally filmed, turned into resources and published.

See the last #makeuslaugh Pioneers competition entrants videos, projects and code.