Students at Richmond High Learn How To Code By Building Robots

Jose, 10th grade teacher in Richmond, explains and demonstrates engineering concepts to his students. Source: Richmond High School Website

Richmond High, a public high school in northern California, has just completed a pilot of QPi Education’s Raspberry Pi Robot Car course for Spring 2018. Jose Cebrian Marquez, Richmond High’s 10th grade engineering teacher, had spearheaded a successful DonorsChoose campaign to crowdfund the Raspberry Pi projects for last year’s class. This year, he has been able to utilize the same materials with an improved curriculum. He ran the course for approximately 60 students in total, and plans to pilot a Spanish version of the course for his English Language Development (ELD) students. In this course, students learned basic Python syntax and introductory computer science principles through the process of building and programming a robot car.

Student from Richmond High successfully programs her robot car to drive.Source: Richmond High School Website

Mr. Cebrian Marquez had worked as a software engineer prior to becoming a teacher. He shares his thoughts on the course:

As a computer engineer, I know the importance of learning how to code not just for STEM-related careers but for any career. I always try to encourage and expose my students to coding in all my engineering classes and our after-school programs. I’m so happy to collaborate with QPi Education in this initiative. I feel that the course has been really useful for my students to utilize their knowledge from principles of engineering. It has really exposed my students to cutting-edge technology like Raspberry Pi and the most popular coding languages like Python. I’m sure that after this course, my students are going to be more prepared for the future.

Some of Jose’s students reported that while they did not plan on pursuing an engineering career in the future, the course changed how they view technology in their everyday lives. Most students claimed their favorite part of the course is building the car, because it allowed them to explore the inner-workings of a robot and gain an intuitive understanding of how computers and electronics come together.

Jorge Rivera, now an 11th grader at Richmond High, was a student of the course who became a big fan of Raspberry Pi. Regarding the small computer, he said, “It was amazing to see something so small and compact interact with the different devices around it, and being able to make functions for those devices.”

When asked about his personal favorite part of the course, he answered, “Honestly, just coding on the Raspberry Pi and learning how to use it, not only for our class assignments but also for fun!”

QPi Education is a professional development company that enables educators to implement STEM instruction with a focus on practical and project learning relevant to today’s world. We provide a comprehensive professional development package that prepares and supports educators, even without technical expertise, to bring more engaging technical learning experiences to the classroom. Contact us at and visit our website at to learn more.