Tag Archives: digital making

Calling all young creators: Get ready for Coolest Projects Global 2022

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It’s time to start your countdown! Young people from all over the world will soon be invited to share their digital creations at Coolest Projects Global 2022, our world-leading online technology showcase event for young creators. In mid-February, project registration opens for a new and improved, online-only experience.

A group of young women present a robot buggy they have built.

Through Coolest Projects Global, young creators can register their digital projects to share them with the world, represent their country, get some free swag, and maybe even win recognition from our special judges. And the best thing: Coolest Projects participants join a global community of awesome young tech creators who celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

A group of Coolest Projects participants from all over the world wave their flags.

Here’s what you should know about Coolest Projects Global

  • Coolest Projects Global is free and open to young creators up to 18 years old, working independently or in teams of up to 5 creators.
  • Creators of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Coolest Projects is for young people who are beginners, or advanced, or anything in between.
  • Project registration opens on 14 February and stays open until 11 May.
A girl presenting a digital making project
  • Projects can be registered in the following categories: Scratch, games, web, mobile apps, hardware, and advanced programming.
  • Judges will evaluate projects based on their coolness, complexity, design, usability, and presentation.
  • Coolest Projects Global is a completely free event for all participants, and it’s entirely online.

What’s new in 2022?

Coolest Projects is celebrating its TENTH YEAR of shining a light on young creators, so we have an extra special showcase lined up in 2022. All of these enhancements are the result of incredibly helpful feedback that past creators have shared. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can look forward to:

  • Creators will receive project feedback from the judges after the celebration event in June. The celebration will be streamed live online in early June. Stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer.
  • Creators will be eligible to receive limited-edition digital and physical swag.
  • Creators will be able to categorise their project into topics such as health, environment, community, art, and more.
  • Creators who have projects selected as favourites by the special judges will receive a commemorative medal.
Two siblings presenting their digital making project at a Coolest Projects showcase

What do young people say is so cool about Coolest Projects?

We asked past creators what they think makes Coolest Projects so cool, and here’s what they had to say:

  • “The freedom we had to create whatever we want!”
  • “We can get inspiration from sharing our ideas about real-life situations.”
  • “Seeing all the different ideas people had and how they went about doing their projects.”
  • “The opportunity to let the creativity flow and participate at a global level.”

Last year, creators showcased all kinds of projects, such as an earthquake early warning device, a fun math game made with Scratch, a squirrel detection system, and a website about cybersecurity. Don’t forget, Coolest Projects is for creators who are beginners, advanced, and everything in between.

A boy participating in Coolest Projects shows off his tech project together with an adult.

Next steps

Project registration opens on 14 February, but creators can start making their projects now. For inspiration, check out last year’s project gallery and then sign up to receive email updates so that you don’t miss a thing about Coolest Projects. We have many more exciting details coming in the next weeks and months, so stay tuned.

Until next time… be cool.

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New free resources for young people to create 3D worlds with code in Unity

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Today we’re releasing an exciting new path of projects for young people who want to create 3D worlds, stories, and games. We’ve partnered with Unity to offer any young person, anywhere, the opportunity to take their first steps in creating virtual worlds using real-time 3D.

A teenage girl participating in Coolest Projects shows off her tech project.

The Unity Charitable Fund, a fund of the Tides Foundation, has awarded us a generous grant for $50,000 to help underrepresented youth learn to use Unity, upleveling their skills for future career success.

Create a world, don’t just explore it

Our new path of six projects for Unity is a learning journey for young people who have some experience of text-based programming and now want to try out building digital 3D creations.

Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D and is hugely popular for creating 3D video games and virtual, interactive worlds and stories. The best thing about it for young people? While professional developers use Unity to create well-known games such as Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Among Us, it is also free for anyone to use.

A boy participating in Coolest Projects shows off his tech project together with an adult.

Young people who learn to use Unity can do more and more complex things with it as they gain experience. Many successful indie games have been made in Unity — maybe a young person you know will create the next indie game sensation!

For young people, our new project path is the ideal introduction to Unity. The new project path:

  • Is for learners who have already coded some projects in Python or another text-based language.
  • Introduces the Unity software and how to write code for it in the programming language C# (pronounced ‘cee sharp’).
  • Guides learners to create a 3D role playing game or interactive story that they can tailor to suit their imaginations. Learners gain more and more independence with each project in the path.
  • Covers common elements such as non-playable characters, mini games, and bonuses.
A young person at a laptop

After young people have completed the path, they’ll have:

  • Created their very own 3D video game or interactive story they can share with their friends and family.
  • Gained familiarity with key functions of Unity.
  • Built the independence and confidence to explore Unity further and create more advanced games and 3D worlds.

Young people gain real-world skills while creating worlds in Unity

Since Unity is a platform used by professional digital creators, young people who follow our new Unity path gain real-world skills that are sought after in the tech sector. While they learn to express their creativity with Unity, young people improve their coding and problem-solving skills and feel empowered because they get to use their imagination to bring their ideas to life.

Two teenage girls participating in Coolest Projects shows off their tech project.

“Providing opportunities for underrepresented youth to learn critical tech skills is essential to Unity Social Impact’s mission,” said Jessica Lindl, Vice President, Social Impact at Unity. “We’re thrilled that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Unity path will allow thousands of student learners to take part in game design in an accessible way, setting them up for future career success.”

What you need to support young people with Unity Real-Time 3D

The project path includes instructions for how to download and install all the necessary software to start creating with Unity.

Before they can start, young people will need to:

  • Have access to a computer with enough processing power (find out more from Unity directly)
  • Have downloaded and installed Unity Hub, from where they need to install Unity Editor and Visual Studio Community Edition

For club volunteers who support young people attending Code Clubs and CoderDojos with the new path, we are going to run two free online workshops in February. During the workshops, volunteers will be introduced to the path and the software setup, and we’ll try out Unity together. Keep your eyes on the CoderDojo and Code Club blogs for details!

Three young people learn coding at laptops supported by a volunteer at a CoderDojo session.

Club volunteers, if your participants are creating Blender projects, they can import these into Unity too.

Young people can share their Unity creations with the world through Coolest Projects

It’s really exciting for us that we can bring this new project path to young people who dream about creating interactive 3D worlds. We hope to see many of their creations in this year’s Coolest Projects Global, our free online tech showcase for young creators all over the world!

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Digital making projects about protecting our planet

via Raspberry Pi

Explore our new free pathway of environmental digital making projects for young people! These new step-by-step projects teach learners Scratch coding and include real-world data — from data about the impact of deforestation on wildlife to sea turtle tracking information.

By following along with the digital making projects online, young people will discover how they can use technology to protect our planet, all while improving their computing skills.

Photo of a young woman holding an origami bird up to the camera
One of the new projects is an automatic creature counter based on colour recognition with Scratch

The projects help young people affect change

In the projects, learners are introduced to 5 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an environment focus:

  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
Screenshot of a Scratch project showing a panda and the Earth
The first project in the new pathway is an animation about the UN’s five SDGs focused on the environment.

Technology, science, maths, geography, and design all play a part in the projects. Following along with the digital making projects, young people learn coding and computing skills while drawing on a range of data from across the world. In this way they will discover how computing can be harnessed to collect environmental data, to explore causes of environmental degradation, to see how humans influence the environment, and ultimately to mitigate negative effects.

Where does the real-world data come from?

To help us develop these environmental digital making projects, we reached out to a number of organisations with green credentials:

Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi
A sea turtle is being tagged so its movements can be tracked

Inspiring young people about coding with real-world data

The digital making projects, created with 9- to 11-year-old learners in mind, support young people on a step-by-step pathway to develop their skills gradually. Using the block-based visual programming language Scratch, learners build on programming foundations such as sequencing, loops, variables, and selection. The project pathway is designed so that learners can apply what they learned in earlier projects when following along with later projects!

The final project in the pathway, ‘Turtle tracker’, uses real-world data of migrating sea turtles!

We’re really excited to help learners explore the relationship between technology and the environment with these new digital making projects. Connecting their learning to real-world scenarios not only allows young people to build their knowledge of computing, but also gives them the opportunity to affect change and make a difference to their world!

Discover the new digital making projects yourself!

With Green goals, learners create an animation to present the United Nations’ environment-focused Sustainable Development Goals.

Through Save the shark, young people explore sharks’ favourite food source (fish, not humans!), as well as the impact of plastic in the sea, which harms sharks in their natural ocean habitat.

Illustration of a shark with sunglasses

With the Tree life simulator project guide, learners create a project that shows the impact of land management and deforestation on trees, wildlife, and the environment.

Computers can be used to study wildlife in areas where it’s not practical to do so in person. In Count the creatures, learners create a wildlife camera using their computer’s camera and Scratch’s new video sensing extension!

Electricity is important. After all, it powers the computer that learners are using! In Electricity generation, learners input real data about the type and amount of natural resources countries across the world use to generate electricity, and they then compare the results using an animated data visualisation.

Understanding the movements of endangered turtles helps to protect these wonderful animals. In this new Turtle tracker project, learners use tracking data from real-life turtles to map their movements off the coast of West Africa.

Code along wherever you are!

All of our projects are free to access online at any time and include step-by-step instructions. They can be undertaken in a club, classroom, or at home. Young people can share the project they create with their peers, friends, family, and the wider Scratch community.

Visit the Protect our planet pathway to experience the projects yourself.

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Coding for concentration with Digital Making at Home

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September is wellness month at Digital Making at Home. Your young makers can code along with our educators every week to create projects that focus on their well-being. This week’s brand-new projects are all about helping young people concentrate better.

Through Digital Making at Home, we invite parents and kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new projects, videos, and live streams every week.

This week’s live stream will take place on Wednesday at 5.30pm BST / 12.30pm EDT / 10.00pm IST at rpf.io/home. Let your kids join in so they can progress to the next stage of learning to code with Scratch!

If you’re in the USA, your young people can join Christina on Thursday at 3.30pm PDT / 5.30pm CDT / 6.30pm EDT for an additional US-time live stream! Christina will show newcomers how to begin coding Scratch projects. Thanks to our partners Infosys Foundation USA for making this new live stream possible.

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Coding for kids and parents with Digital Making at Home

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Through Digital Making at Home, we invite your and your kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new videos every week.

Since March, we’ve created over 20 weeks’ worth of themed code-along videos for families to have fun with and learn at home. Here are some of our favourite themes — get coding with us today!

A mother and child coding at home

If you’ve never coded before…

Follow along with our code-along video released this week and make a digital stress ball with us. In the video, we’ve got 6-year-old Noah trying out coding for the first time!

Code fun video games

Creating your own video games is a super fun, creative way to start coding and learn what it’s all about.

Check out our code-along videos and projects where we show you:

A joystick on a desktop

Build something cool with your Raspberry Pi

If you have a Raspberry Pi computer at home, then get it ready! We’ve got make-along videos showing you:

Top down look of a simple Raspberry Pi robot buggy

Become a digital artist

Digital making isn’t all about video games and robots! You can use it to create truly artistic projects as well. So come and explore with us as we show you:

Lots more for you to discover

You’ll find many more code-along videos and projects on the rpf.io/home page. Where do you want your digital making journey to take you?

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Beginners’ coding for kids with Digital Making at Home

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Have your kids never coded before? Then out Digital Making at Home video this week is perfect for you to get them started.

A girl doing digital making on a tablet

In our free code-along video this week, six-year-old Noah codes his first Scratch project guided by Marc from our team. The project is a digital stress ball, because our theme for September is wellness and looking after ourselves.

Follow our beginners’ code-along video now!

Through Digital Making at Home, we invite parents and kids all over the world to code and make along with us and our new videos and live stream every week.

Our live stream will take place on Wednesday 5.30pm BST / 12.30pm EDT / 10.00pm IST at rpf.io/home. Let your kids join in so they can progress to the next stage of learning to code with Scratch!

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