An international show for young digital makers to demonstrate their projects, Coolest Projects is coming to the UK for the first time this year.
Coolest Projects International will take place at the Royal Dublin Society on Saturday 26 May, while Coolest Projects UK is on Saturday 28 April, at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Anyone under the age of 18 and currently in primary, secondary or further education can enter, either as an individual or part of a team of up to five members. Projects are entered into five broad categories: Scratch, Websites, Games + Web Games, Mobile Apps, and Hardware. The full criteria for each are can be found here on the Coolest Projects website.
Coolest Projects began as a showcase for work done by young people who were part of CoderDojo. From this year, it’s open to young people across The Raspberry Pi community.
Rosa Langhammer, CoderDojo General Manager, Outreach & Engagement, explains: “Coolest Projects is about bringing an idea and sharing it with your peers, no matter how big or small or even if your project isn’t finished.” The entry categories are so broad because they want “Coolest Projects to be as inclusive as possible.”
Coolest Projects started “in 2012 with 19 projects,” Rosa confirms. Now Coolest Projects is “an international showcase with 750 young people participating last year from 16 countries!”
Each participant will have their own area to set up their project, and will “have some free time throughout the day to explore other projects, as well as some of the cool demos and speakers that will be joining us for the day,” says Rosa.
“It’s really important to have hands-on activities scattered throughout,” Rosa continues, “so parents, young people, and the general public can get hands on with science, technology, and the arts.”
Rosa’s favourite Coolest Project came from 12-year-old Amy, who created a smart beehive “with a mission to save bees!” Amy uploaded data from her hive to hivetool.net, helping “international scientists to understand why bees are dying.”
Images courtesy of: Kenneth O’Halloran, Coolest Projects 2017