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Carduino initially came about through Simon Riley’s frustration at the limited range of Arduino-based learning tools available.  There were a lot of starter kits around, but he found they didn’t challenge people beyond teaching them ‘how to turn LEDs on and off’. 

After getting involved with the volunteer organisation ‘Code Club’ at a local primary school in Brighton, he discovered he had a passion for sharing his knowledge of coding and electronics with others.

He thereby decided to take this to the next level by creating a fun, professional-looking and challenging Arduino-based product that would inspire budding inventors.  And thanks to the continuing advances in the fields of 3D printing and CAD design, he was confident that he would be able to create something fun and accessible for everyone, no matter what their level of prior knowledge.  Hence, the Carduino was born, and with it, Simon’s mission to show people that anyone with a passion for it can now be an inventor!

The Catalyst team researched the impact of the newly implemented computer science national curriculum. This included what was being taught, how schools prepared - or had not – for the new curriculum and how this was delivered in Local Authority managed schools, private schools, and academies. The purpose of the role was to help Maker Club establish what their final products should be and how they should position them.

  • Desk based research regarding the school curriculum including the prescribed content, advice on how this should be taught, who influences what is on the curriculum and which elements of it are mandatory, and who is responsible for enforcing the curriculum

  • Identifying suitable candidates and undertaking long conversations with different types of school surrounding their purchasing decisions and how they prepared for their new curriculum.

  • Understanding the market structure around after-school clubs and the provision of teaching resources.

  • Reporting findings to Carduino which will be essential to them in formulating their business plan and establishing their competition and most appropriate route by which to enter the market.

  • Identifying candidates and undertaking market research interviews with teaching professionals.


At the completion of the Catalyst project Maker Club submitted a funding application with drew heavily on the information Catalyst was able to gain. The executive summaries from the final project write up were submitted in the document exactly as they were written.

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