Q: What’s one word to describe this year’s Coolest Projects USA?
A: The COOLEST!
The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s celebration of this generation of young creators continued in the US on Saturday, March 23 at the Discovery Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, CA.
We had a great day!
Young creators aged 5–18 came together from all over the US, traveling from as far as Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania to showcase their incredible ideas, brought to life by them through the power of coding. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed by every project, whether the creator made it to help solve a real-world problem or to express their imagination.
Creators submitted projects in one of five categories — Hardware, Visual Programming, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Games — for a chance to win a prize. But more importantly, Coolest Projects was an opportunity for young creators to share a project that matters to them, on a day designed to celebrate how truly incredible they are. Guess which category had the most submissions, and find out the answer later on!
TV science presenter Greg Foot returned as the host of the event, leading everyone through the day, while our special guests showered the young creators with praise and words of encouragement. These guests included Parisa Khashayar, the co-winner of the Hardware category at Coolest Projects USA 2018, and Rachelle Davis, a Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment.
And the winners are….
The judges had their work cut out for them this year, because all of the creators who submitted projects were amazing! While the judges could only choose one winner per category — or two winners, in the case of the Visual Programming category — every creator received a swag bag full of coding tools and resources to support them as they continue their digital making journeys.
Our winners for the most outstanding projects of Coolest Projects USA 2019 were these incredible individuals!
There were two winning projects in the Visual Programming category, because the judges couldn’t decide between them! One prize went to siblings Julia and Alex, who had made an RPG game with visual novel aspects called Bright Destiny. The other prize went to Shawn, who had made a Scratch game called Dragon Gate, in which you control a fish trying to survive in the ocean in order to find a dragon gate to become a dragon.
Ethan won in the Games category for creating a 3D version of Missile Command in Unity, with several unique weapons that players can use to protect the in-game city. Each weapon is also viewed in third-person perspective. For his next project, Ethan wants to put his own twist on the Rubik’s Cube by going beyond the third dimension — we’re intrigued!
The judges learned a lot from Lara, the winner in this category, who created a website named Another Purpose for Eggshells. Lara is passionate about birds and built her site to teach people about the problems that ducks face. She conducted research to find out whether or not eggshells can be used as a source of calcium in bird food, in order to prevent birds from being fed carbohydrates, which can cause tumors.
This category had the most submissions, and Adarsh won the award with his Smart Community Sprinkler System, which can serve an entire community. He was inspired by the need he saw in communities in California to manage water during the drought. Using a Raspberry Pi, he built a moisture-sensor-based smart sprinkler system that integrates real-time weather forecast data and Twitter feeds to dispense only optimum amounts of water in compliance with city water regulations — fantastic!
Ashley won in this category for her Android app built to prevent sexual assault — Believe: Preventing Sexual Assault. The app records live video to help people share their experiences, and it educates users and supports survivors by sharing methods of preventing sexual assault.
Looking ahead to the next Coolest Projects
If you missed this year’s USA event, you might be interested in Coolest Projects International on Sunday, May 5, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. For more information, go to coolestprojects.org/international
We had an amazing experience at Coolest Projects USA and can’t wait to see you at the next Coolest Projects!
Until then, keep coding!