In 2022, over 2,500 young people from 46 countries shared their creations in the Coolest Projects online showcase (helloworld.cc/coolest2022). Makers could choose from a variety of categories, such as the environment, health, and education, and their projects included everything from foam-flinging toys to robotic hands and super-fun Scratch games.
Over 300 projects used technology to solve problems in the creators’ communities. Freddie from Canada created a bicycle safety device with a proximity sensor, clock, fall detector, and radio assistance. He wanted to reduce accidents and encourage more people to access the benefits of cycling (helloworld.cc/coolestfreddie). Hattan and Dan from Sudan created an air-quality monitoring robot that measures humidity, temperature, and nitrogen and methanol in the air. It then sends measurements via Bluetooth to help factories monitor emissions (helloworld.cc/coolestdan).
Some projects were all about having fun. Harshit from an Irish CoderDojo created a game called Runaway Nose, using a webcam and facial recognition, which gets the user moving around to catch on-screen circles on their nose! Harshit wanted to create a fun game to get people active, even on rainy days (helloworld.cc/coolestharshit). The project was one of judge Richa Shrivastava’s (co-founder of Maker’s Asylum) favourites. “I thought it was amazing that Harshit could mix facial recognition and his need to move into a game and make it so interactive and fun!”
Young creators like Harshit told us that Coolest Projects made them feel more confident in their computing skills, and that it had made them more interested in programming and computers. As with Freddie, Dan, and Hattan, Coolest Projects gives makers an opportunity to solve problems that matter to them, have their achievements celebrated, and develop skills and confidence in idea generation, coding, and user testing.
If you know any young digital makers, encourage them to submit what they’ve made to Coolest Projects. Projects at all skill levels are welcome, and there are categories for hardware, mobile apps, web, Scratch, and advanced programming. We love seeing great ideas and works in progress, so young people can also submit unfinished projects and prototypes.
If you want to help your young creators make something new for Coolest Projects, take a look at the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s project paths at projects.raspberrypi.org. Each path helps young people to learn coding and design skills to make things that matter to them, and the final ‘Invent’ stage of each path is a unique challenge that young people could use as their entry into Coolest Projects.
The event is completely free and open to all. Registration is open from 6 February to 26 April 2023, and young people who are 18 years old or younger can submit their work at coolestprojects.org. Keep an eye out for the announcement of this year’s VIP judges and the cool swag for all participants coming soon too!