Project Description

Coding in Space – The Astro-Pi Challenge

The Astro Pi Challenge empowers young people to learn to code experiments that run on two special Raspberry Pi computers on the International Space Station. In December 2021, two new computers were launched into orbit to replace older models, meaning more children could code experiments and send messages and images to the astronauts aboard the ISS.

It was the first time that the Raspberry Pi Foundation had ever undertaken a proactive PR campaign. It challenged Seven to secure multi-channel coverage in the UK and in other member states of the European Space Agency to raise the profile of the Astro Pi Challenge, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and its work, and drive participation.

Our approach

Seven has extensive experience of developing and implementing creative campaigns in the STEM education and tech for good arenas. We embarked on a campaign that targeted three key audiences – teachers, parents and children:

The Results

Across the four-month campaign, we generated 473 pieces of coverage in the UK, Europe and Canada with a broadcast audience of 13.2 million, print coverage circulation of 4.14 million and estimated online coverage views of 8.45 million – well above the 500,000 reach we had been targeted.

The radio day resulted in high-impact, high-quality interviews across national and regional television and radio – including interviews on Good Morning Britain (ITV), Sky News Breakfast, The Seven (BBC Scotland), BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC, Talk Radio and BBC regional radio stations.

The parental attitudes data story generated hundreds of pieces of press coverage in national, regional and local titles, including BBC News, the Independent, Evening Standard, Yorkshire Post, The Herald and the Belfast Telegraph.

We secured coverage in key British youth news titles including BBC Newsround, First News, and The Week Jr. In The Week Jr Science + Nature, we secured a double page spread of activities all relating to the Astro Pi Challenge.

The newswire release secured pan-European and Canadian coverage with mass reach. We secured a broadcast radio interview on Cork’s 96FM (Republic of Ireland), and a broadcast television interview on SVT’s Lilla Aktuellt (Sweden).

Teacher case studies and content resulted in op-eds in primary and secondary education trade titles and an interview with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on the Education on Fire podcast.

Website traffic to astro-pi.org increased 75% year-on-year.

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