We’re excited to share another incredible story from the community — the second in our new series of inspirational short films that celebrate young tech creators across the world.
These stories showcase some of the wonderful things that young people are empowered to do when they learn how to create with technology. We hope that they will inspire many more young people to get creative with technology too!
This time, you will meet an accomplished, young community member who is on a quest to encourage more girls to join her and get into digital making.
For as long as she can remember, Avye (13) has enjoyed creating things. It was at her local CoderDojo that seven-year-old Avye was introduced to the world of robotics. Avye’s second-ever robot, the Raspberry Pi–powered Voice O’Tronik Bot, went on to win the Hardware category at our Coolest Projects UK event in 2018.
Coding and digital making have become an integral part of Avye’s life, and she wants to help other girls discover these skills too. She says, “I believe that it’s important for girls and women to see and be aware of ordinary girls and women doing cool things in the STEM world.” Avye started running her own workshops for girls in their community and in 2018 founded Girls Into Coding. She has now teamed up with her mum Helene, who is committed to helping to drive the Girls Into Coding mission forwards.
I want to get other girls like me interested in tech.
Avye has received multiple awards to celebrate her achievements, including the Princess Diana Award and Legacy Award in 2019. Most recently, in 2020, Avye won the TechWomen100 Award, the Women in Tech’s Aspiring Teen Award, and the FDM Everywoman in Tech Award!
We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her. Help us celebrate Avye and inspire others by liking and sharing her story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!
Today we are launching an exciting series of impact stories from the community, to shine a spotlight on some of the young people who are learning and creating with technology through our educational initiatives.
These stories get to the heart of our mission: to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.
Designed in close collaboration with families across the world, our new series of short inspirational films showcases some of the wonderful things that young people are empowered to do when they learn to use technology to address the issues that matter to them.
We are incredibly proud to be a part of these young people’s journeys — and to see the positive impact of engaging with our free programmes, coding clubs, and resources. We can’t wait to share their unique experiences and achievements with you as we roll out the series over the next few months.
And we invite you to celebrate these young people by liking and sharing their stories on social media!
Meet Zaahra and Eesa
The first story takes you to a place not far from our home: London, UK.
Zaahra (12) and Eesa (8) are a sister and brother coding team and live in East London. For the last four years they’ve been learning about computing and digital making by attending regular sessions at their local Code Club. Zaahra and Eesa love working as a team and using technology to solve problems around them. When they found it difficult to communicate with their grandparents in their first language, Sylheti, the siblings decided to code a language learning app called ‘Easy Sylheti’. Eesa says, “We wanted to create something that was helpful to us, but also to our family and the community.”
“I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.”
Describing the effect of learning to create with technology and seeing the success of their app, Zaahra declares, “I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.” And she’s using her new-found confidence to continue helping her community: Zaahra has recently taken up a role as youth member on the Newham Youth Empowerment Fund Panel.
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!
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!
Young tech creators from more than 40 countries have already registered to take part in this year’s Coolest Projects online showcase! To help us celebrate this year’s wonderful group of participants, we’re lucky to have brought on board Colin Furze, Melissa Pickering, James Whelton, and Fig O’Reilly as special judges.
“Since the first Coolest Projects in 2012, I’ve been continually inspired seeing thousands of young creators sharing their projects with the world. Building websites, apps, games, and hardware around something they’re passionate about, solving problems they face or just doing something cool, year on year Coolest Projects shows the magic of technology.”
Meet the coolest judges!
Colin Furze is a British YouTube personality, presenter, inventor, and five-time Guinness world record holder from Lincolnshire, England. Colin’s YouTube channel has over 10 million subscribers. Colin left school at 16 to become a plumber, a trade which he pursued until joining the Sky1 TV programme Gadget Geeks. He has used his engineering experience to build many unconventional contraptions, including a homemade hoverbike, a jet-powered bicycle made with pulsejet engines, and the world’s fastest dodgem vehicle for Top Gear. Colin has completed three Star Wars–themed challenges in partnership with eBay: in 2016, he completed a giant AT-AT garden playhouse, followed in 2017 by a full-size Kylo Ren Tie Silencer. In 2019 he completed a moving Landspeeder from Star Wars: A New Hope; the vehicle was auctioned off on eBay, with all of the funds going to BBC Children in Need.
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. She has worked in the field of interactive kids’ products for 15 years, from innovating theme parks as a Disney Imagineer to founding an edtech startup. In her six-year LEGO career she has built up and led design teams to innovate LEGO products through digital experiences, with a key focus of using technology to inspire hands-on play.
Fionnghuala O’Reilly is an Irish-American model, beauty pageant titleholder, and engineer. The 27-year-old recently made history as the first woman of colour to represent Ireland at the international Miss Universe pageant. Since getting her degree in Systems Engineering from the George Washington University, O’Reilly, who goes by Fig, has gone on to become a NASA Datanaut, working within the agency’s Open Innovation programme comprised of engineers and scientists who engage with NASA’s open data to create new thinking, processes and products. Fig has joined the two-time Emmy-nominated science television series Mission Unstoppable as the newest correspondent. She is also the founder and CEO of Reach Productions which is the host of NASA’s Space Apps Challenge in Washington DC. In 2020, Fig was named an Ambassador for Engineers Ireland, Ireland’s leading governing body for professional engineers. Fig is a passionate advocate for women and diversity in STEM subjects.
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. In response to the lack of opportunities to learn computing at school, he co-founded CoderDojo in 2011, a global community of code clubs for young people where they can learn to build websites, apps and games, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment. James has developed apps and systems with over a million users around the world. He is currently developing an online platform that helps its users achieve their personal goals and build healthier, happier habits and behaviours.
Register a project today
These four fabulous people will choose their favourites from among all of this year’s projects — a unique honour that the young tech creator in your life could receive if they take part! We hope this will be a big boost of motivation for them to register their project for the Coolest Projects showcase before the 3 May deadline.
We’ll be announcing the special judges’ favourite projects as part of our big live-streamed Coolest Projects celebration on 8 June!
Everyone up to age 18 can register for Coolest Projects, and we welcome all projects, all experience levels, and all kinds of projects, made with any programming language or any hardware. Through Coolest Projects, young people are able to show the world something they’ve made with tech that they love, and the projects are as diverse as the participants!
In our free Coolest Projects online showcase, we invite a worldwide community of young people to come together and celebrate what they’ve built with technology. For this year’s showcase, we’ve already got young tech creators from more than 35 countries registered, including from India, Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, Serbia, Japan, and Syria!
Register to become part of the global Coolest Projects community
Everyone up to age 18 can register for Coolest Projects to become part of this community with their own tech creation. We welcome all projects, all experience levels, and all kinds of projects, from the very first Scratch animation to a robot with machine learning capacity! The beauty of Coolest Projects is in the diversity of what the young tech creators make.
Young people can register projects in six categories: Hardware, Scratch, Mobile Apps, Websites, Games, and Advanced Programming. Projects need to be fully registered by Monday 3 May 2021, but they don’t need to be finished then — at Coolest Projects we celebrate works in progress just as much as finished creations!
This Wednesday 3 March at 19:00 GMT / 14:00 ET, young people can join a special Digital Making at Homelive stream about capturing ideas for projects. We’ll share practical tips and inspiration to help them get started with building a Coolest Projects creation:
On Tuesday 23 March, 16:00 GMT / 11:00 ET, young people can join the Coolest Projects team on a live stream to talk to them about all things Coolest Projects and ask all their questions! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications to be reminded about this live stream.
Online workshops for educators & parents
Join our free online workshops where you as an educator or parent can learn how to best support young people to take part:
Getting creative with technology is truly empowering for young people, and anything your young people want to create will be celebrated by us and the whole Coolest Projects community. We’re so excited to see their projects, and we can’t wait to celebrate all together at our big live stream celebration event in June! Don’t let your young people miss their chance to be part of the fun.
Pi Day is a special occasion for people all around the world (your preferred date format notwithstanding), and I love seeing all the ways that makers, students, and educators celebrate. This year at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we’re embracing Pi Day as a time to support young learners and creators in our community. Today, we launch our first Pi Day fundraising campaign. From now until 14 March, I’d like to ask for your help to empower young people worldwide to learn computing and become confident, creative digital makers and engineers.
Millions of learners use the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s online coding projects to develop new skills and get creative with technology. Your donation to the Pi Day campaign will support young people to access these high-quality online resources, which they need more urgently than ever amidst disruptions to schools and coding clubs. Did I mention that our online projects are offered completely free and in dozens of languages? That’s possible thanks to Raspberry Pi customers and donors who power our educational mission.
It’s not only young people who rely on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free online coding projects, but also teachers, educators, and volunteers in coding clubs:
“The project resources for Python and Scratch make it really easy for the children to learn programming and create projects successfully, even if they have limited prior experience — they are excellent.”
— Code Club educator in the UK
“The best thing […] is the accessibility to a variety of projects and ease of use for a variety of ages and needs. I love checking the site for what I may have missed and the next project my students can do!”
Your Pi Day gift will make double the impact thanks to our partner EPAM, who is generously matching all donations up to a total of $5000. As a special thanks to each of you who contributes, you’ll have the option to see your name listed in an upcoming issue of The MagPi magazine!
All young people deserve the opportunity to thrive in today’s technology-driven world. As a donor to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, you can make this a reality. Any amount you are able to give to our Pi Day campaign — whether it’s $3.14, $31.42, or even more — makes a difference. You also have the option to sign up as a monthly donor.
Let’s come together to give young people the tools they need to make things, solve problems, and shape their future using technology. Thank you.
PS Thanks again to EPAM for partnering with us to match your gifts up to $5000 until 14 March, and to CanaKit for their generous Pi Day contribution of $3141!