The Fuze case is an all-in-one workstation for your Raspberry Pi. Simply slide out the back of the Fuse case, pop in your Pi, connect up the cables, and you have a fully functioning desktop computer — in hardware at least.
The black, chunky case of the Fuze hints back to the days of the BBC Micro and the Spectrum, and for good reason. The Fuze Case attempts to bring back that lost era of affordable and accessible programming to schools that its predecessors, and more recently the Raspberry Pi, attempted to .
Get Students Programming
Get Teachers off the Hook
[pullquote]Many schools and teachers are badly equipped to teach programming to children, teenagers and young adults. Due to programming being ignored for so long the majority of teachers lack the knowledge to confidently teach even the basics of programming and software development. – Fuze[/pullquote]
The goal of the Fuze project, which is supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is to get UK students coding and stem the flow of outsourced programming jobs from the UK. The idea is simple, make it easy for students and teachers to pick up programming and encourage creativity in the classroom. Now is the perfect time.
The new curriculum has caused concern for ICT teachers in secondary schools across the UK. Teachers are required to tutor students in a programming language despite many simply not having the relevant experience. This has left many in the field scrabbling around to meet the new requirements.
The Fuse kit comes with everything you need to get students up and running with a programmable PC without the need to disrupt current ICT suites.
Also included are project cards, available as a download, designed to give simple guidance to students and a starting point for creativity.
The Fuze is a retro styled affair harking back to the days when disks really were floppy, and rubber keys were de rigueur. The back of the unit pulls out to allow access to the standard Raspberry Pi board into which an SD card, Ethernet, USB, and HDMI connectors can be attached.
At the top of the Fuze is a built in breadboard, allowing for the attachment of external devices and sensors without the need for soldering.
If you just want to get straight into programming a version of the Fuze is available with a preconfigured OS. Just boot up the machine and you’ll be straight into BASIC, Python, or Scratch. Using the supplied “Project Cards” — downloadable in PDF format — you can be coding away on your first project in no time.
“The Raspberry Pi Foundation is pleased to support FUZE in their development of rugged classroom units for teaching electronics and computer science. The units will help students learn, experiment and explore the vital discipline of computer science and in the process learn computational thinking.”
– Jack Lang, Chair of the Raspberry Pi Foundation
There are three options available:
- The standard Fuze which includes 512MB Raspberry Pi, a UK Keyboard, wireless mouse, mat, pass-thru interface, solder-less breadboard and component kit – £179.99
- The Fuze “Maximite Edition” which comes with all of the above but boots straight into BASIC without any additional configuration – £179.99
- The Fuze Case which is simply the outer shell of the Fuze, cables, and keyboard but without the Raspberry Pi, breadboard, or components – £69.99
Just add a monitor and you’re coding.
Classroom sets are also available by contacting Fuze via their website.
The £179.99 price is, depending on your requirements, quite high. But as an all in one, portable kit which your students only need to plug in a monitor to get going, it certainly makes the Raspberry Pi a more manageable prospect in the classroom. The freedom to experiment that Fuze will provide students is invaluable at time when encouraging creativity in ICT is a priority.
I’ll reserve judgement until I actually get a unit in my hands and give Python a bit of a spin, but I’m very interested in finding out more about Fuze.
The thing I like about fuse is that it’s technology at its purest. In an age of appliance like devices such as iPad, hardware like the Raspberry Pi and Fuse allow students to duck under the bonnet and really get to grips with how hardware and software work.
The provided project cards give students the ability to get jump into coding and then go off on a creative tangent all the while reducing pressure on the teacher.
We’ll have more information when Fuse is released.
Fuze is available to pre-order now and is scheduled to ship in June.
To find out more visit Fuse.co.uk.