The Raspberry Pi computer
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Raspberry Pi computer in action

29 February 2012 Last updated at 06:01 GMT

The Raspberry Pi computer is just a small green circuit board about the size of a credit card - but it is hoped that it will get thousands of schoolchildren interested in programming.

Created by a group of scientists and developers who wanted to improve the state of Britain's computer science curriculum, the device contains a processor similar to the one used in many smart phones, a memory chip, an Ethernet port to connect to the internet and a couple of USB ports.

After plugging in a keyboard, mouse and screen, children are able to use the Raspberry Pi's open-source software to write their own code.

It will cost £22 excluding VAT, with the first 10,000 on release having been funded largely out of the pockets of the scientists behind the charitable Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Rory Cellan-Jones met the foundation's executive director Eben Upton to find out more.