Coolest Projects 2021: young people’s journeys & special judges’ favourites

Wow, we haven’t stopped smiling since yesterday’s live Coolest Projects celebration! Hosts Maddie Moate and Greg Foot led us through a live online event jam-packed with stories from participants, cool tech creations, and inspiring messages from our special judges. AND they revealed whose projects the judges picked as their favourites from among all of this year’s projects — congrats to the favourites’ creators, and to everyone who has participated in Coolest Projects online 2021!

1385 young tech creators from 47 countries are part of this year’s Coolest Projects online, and they have shared 1168 wonderful projects with the world in the showcase gallery! For yesterday’s celebration live stream, the whole Coolest Projects community came together to applaud all the creators for their dedication, creativity, and love for making things with tech.

So which projects did the special judges choose as their favourites from among all these amazing creations? Here are this year’s favourites, and why the judges have chosen them!

Coolest Projects 2021 special judges Colin Furze, James Whelton, Melissa Pickering, and Fig O'Reilly.

Colin Furze’s favourites

Colin Furze is a British YouTube personality, presenter, inventor, and five-time Guinness world record holder from Lincolnshire, England. See all his favourites:

Colin Furze's favourite projects from the Coolest Projects online showcase 2021.
  • Vivien, from the USA, with the Hardware project A Consumer IoT Seismometer for Earthquake Early Warning. Why Colin chose this: “An impressive project”
  • Yusuf and Ömer Faruk, from Turkey, with the Unity-based Game project Science Fighter. Why Colin chose this project: “The idea behind Science Fighter is magical”
  • Clara, Hannah, and Alondra, from a CoderDojo in the USA, with the Web project Zoom Chat: New and Improved. Why Colin chose this project: “The simplicity of this is fantastic”
  • Muntadar, from a CoderDojo in Iraq, with the Scratch project Math Race. Why Colin chose this project: “A great little game”
  • Dillon, from a CoderDojo in Ireland, with the Mobile App project Safe Circle. Why Colin chose this: “A brilliant and complete project”
  • Nathaniel, from the USA, with the Advanced Programming project Using Machine Learning To Mind Control A Flamethrower. Why Colin chose this project: “Alan Pan would be proud”

Melissa Pickering’s favourites

Melissa Pickering is Head of Product at LEGO Education, leading a cross-functional team to design and develop learning through play experiences for kids globally. See all her favourites:

Melissa Pickering's favourite projects from the Coolest Projects online showcase 2021.
  • Lavie, from the USA, with the Hardware project Playable Lego Steinway Piano. Why Melissa chose this project: “A true engineer’s journey”
  • Niamh, from a CoderDojo in Ireland, with the VR-based Game project Escape the Maze. Why Melissa chose this project: “Super skill-building”
  • Theo, from a Code Club in the UK, with the Web project Bookwriggle. Why Melissa chose this project: “Excellent approach”
  • Patrick Elliot, from Indonesia, with the Scratch project Rocket Game. Why Melissa chose this project: “Simply fun”
  • Yuvati, from India, with the Mobile App project Hospito. Why Melissa chose this project: “So timely and relevant”
  • Arvin, from the USA, with the Advanced Programming project A Deep Learning Based Backyard Squirrel Detection System Utilizing Raspberry Pi. Why Melissa chose this project: “A fantastic way to apply statistics and data science”

Fig O’Reilly’s  favourites

Fionnghuala O’Reilly is an Irish-American model, beauty pageant titleholder, engineer, and NASA Datanaut. Fig is a passionate advocate for women and diversity in STEM subjects. See all her favourites:

Fig O'Reilly's favourite projects from the Coolest Projects online showcase 2021.
  • Sonali, Lina, and Samiksha, from a Code Club in India, with the Hardware project, Anti-touching face cap for COVID-19. Why Fig chose this project: “Very timely (and fashionable!)”
  • Colvin, from the USA, with the Minecraft-based Game project Coolest Minecraft Mod. Why Fig chose this project: “A lot of attention to detail”
  • Anna and Harry, from the UK, with the Web project Pen and paper puzzles. Why Fig chose this project: “Because of the skill used on the front end and back end of the site”
  • Althafazrais, from Indonesia, with the Scratch project Mars Rover Simulator. Why Fig chose this project: “Informative and fun”
  • Kayleigh and Kaitlyn, from Ireland, with the Mobile App project Give Me That ENERGY!. Why Fig chose this project: “Built for the creators’ community”
  • Pradnyan, from a Code Club in India, with the Advanced Programming project Gaze Controlled Keyboard. Why Fig chose this project: “An innovative solution”

James Whelton’s  favourites

James Whelton is a coder, entrepreneur, and co-founder of CoderDojo. At 16, James gained worldwide recognition for discovering a hack for the iPod Nano. See all his favourites:

James Whelton's favourite projects from the Coolest Projects online showcase 2021.
  • Jayanth, from the United Arab Emirates, with the Hardware project, MediBuddy. Why James chose this project: “Great project overview”
  • Agustín, Joaquín, Lucero, Lucía, and Luis Salvador, from Peru, with the Python-based Game project Think Twice. Why James chose this project: “Very thoughtful”
  • Xiomara, from a CoderDojo in Mexico, with the Web project Accenture Dojo VideoLife. Why James chose this project: “You have a lot of skill”
  • Bhavishyaa, from Canada, with the Scratch project Earth OS. Why James chose this project: “Very sophisticated”
  • Shunsuke, from a CoderDojo in Japan, with the Mobile App project Birds AI Peep-chan. Why James chose this project: “Super cool idea and personal story”
  • Artur, from Poland, with the Advanced Programming project Friction experiments made easy. Why James chose this project: “Great combination of technologies”

Sponsors’ favourites

Coolest Projects wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors, and because they love this global tech showcase and admire all the participants, they’ve chosen their favourite projects too!

Demonstration of 'Cap for the blind', a Coolest Projects entry chosen as a favourite by Broadcom Foundation.
Archit’s ‘Cap for the blind’ project uses Raspberry Pi!

Discover more than 1000 projects

You can explore all the young tech creators’ projects — games, hardware builds, Scratch projects, mobile apps, websites, and more — in our showcase gallery now.

The support of our Coolest Projects sponsors has enabled us to make this year’s online showcase the inspiring experience it is for the young people taking part. We want to say a big thank you to all of them!

Coolest Projects online showcase 2021 sponsors: BNY Mellon, Broadcom Foundation, Liberty Global, EPAM, Facebook, LogMeIn, Genesys, PayPal, Twitter, Sage Foundation.

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