Coolest Projects International was my first major event as part of the CoderDojo Foundation team and I was both nervous and excited to begin the process and preparation for the event.

With the move to a bigger space this year, Coolest Projects took on an exciting new challenge after leaving its home of 2 years at the Main Hall, RDS.

The Simmonscourt, RDS played host to Coolest Projects International 2018 and we are thrilled and extremely proud of the outcome.

 

With over 600 projects and 1000 kids taking part, we saw so many innovative and highly creative projects across all categories. The level of skill and entrepreneurship displayed on the day was a real highlight for me.  One of my favourite projects was the app called Intelligentia  – which passively monitors your photos to try and identify missing persons. I also found the face recognition door entry system for people with dementia a great example of social enterprise.

 

I was super proud of the addition of the Escape Rooms and History Of Video games, which proved a hit on the day with excited kids queuing up to take part.

I thoroughly enjoyed the informative panel discussions which included Cyber Safety, Computer Science as a subject on the Irish Curriculum and a lively debate on the motivations and aspirations of girls in STEAM.

We saw some fascinating talks on the main stage throughout the day.  They included Raspberry Pi Co-founder Pete Lomas and his talk about ‘Cardboard to Code in Space’ and CoderDojo Scotland’s Craig Steele spoke to us about learning new cyber security skills and using them to rob a (fictional!) bank. It was a family affair when Microsoft’s Stephen Howell took to the stage. Here with the assistance of his daughter Charis introduced micro:bits and Microsoft MakeCode.

I think my favourite moment of the day was when the main stage was alight with 1000 kids which began with a giant cloud explosion kicking off the awards ceremony.

Since the event, we have received lots of positive feedback and I would love to take this opportunity to thank all those involved who helped make the day possible.

The countless hours of dedication put in by the Implementation team, the invaluable contribution of the judges and to the many new and returning volunteers without whom this event would not be possible. Not to mention the speakers, panelists, exhibitors who made the day so engaging.

Likewise my colleagues in the CoderDojo Foundation who have played such a key role in the last few months and weeks. I would also like to to thank our partners whose continued support will always been appreciated. I would like to thank Philip Colligan and the Raspberry Pi Foundation who assisted us in so many ways. I would like to give a special mention to Fran and the Catapult team for making our ideas come to life. And of course the RDS for facilitating our event.

And finally I would like to thank the participants who showed projects on the day.

Without you there would be no event. I was overwhelmed with the level of skill, dedication and talent displayed around the Simmonscourt on May 26th.

You are an inspiration to all of us, your parents and each other.

See you all next year! 

Sinead, Events Manager at the CoderDojo Foundation.