February OER of the Month – Bioinformatics & Raspberry Pi


The 4273π Bioinformatics using Raspberry Pi project is a crowd pleaser, and one of the top viewed OERs across the Open.Ed website.

So what is it? The 4273π project provides materials for teaching and learning bioinformatics, including an SD card image for the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer. The resource is tailored for bioinformatics use and includes open educational resources for computational biology.

Students learn how to read and use DNA analytical tools, and can translate the DNA into sound using SonicPi.



What does it include?

Included in the downloadable package is a freely available, customised distribution of Raspbian (which is a free operating system optimised for the RaspberryPi computer), and PDF documents for 4273π  Bioinformatics for Biologists an Open Access bioinformatics course.

Created by Dr Heleen Plaisier and Dr Daniel Barker at the University of Edinburgh Institute of Evolutionary Biology, 4273π is distributed as a compressed file, including a 32 GB SD card image for the Raspberry Pi.


Loan Boxes for Scottish schools

Additionally, the project provides loan boxes for schools in Scotland. The loan boxes consist of Raspberry Pi computers, loaded with 4273π materials for teaching and learning bioinformatics. The project also sends out volunteers into schools to demonstrate use of the material.

Materials are suitable for sixth-form level and have links to the Scottish Higher curriculum in Biology and Human Biology.

Each loan box consists of 10 Raspberry Pi computers. The only peripherals required, from the school itself, are monitors.



Go to http://4273pi.org/ for more information and to download the latest version of the resource.


Image: Raspberry Pi computer.  © Heleen Plaisier.