Last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation published research on the benefits of entering Coolest Projects. One of the main takeaways was that participating in Coolest Projects helps young people become more confident and more goal-oriented, as well as developing their coding skills.
We caught up with some parents to ask how their children have benefitted from taking part in Coolest Projects this year.
9-year-old Emily is entering Coolest Projects International for the first time.
She has built an impressive app to help her 15-year-old brother, who is non-verbal, to communicate.
Emily’s parents, Gary and Aisling Carter Keogh, say that they have seen their daughter become more confident since she started coding at her local CoderDojo.
“She loves it. She’s quite shy, but she likes people being interested in what she’s interested in — it’s a great confidence booster. It brings her out of her shell and it’s a great chance to try public speaking, and to mix, and meet different people of all ages, genders, and nationalities.”
“She’s been coding for 18 months, and she enjoys it. She loves to see the results of what she’s doing and be able to say that ‘she’s made this’.”
“The acknowledgement of Coolest Projects — that she can enter and show other people her work — makes her a lot happier, which is the main thing.”
Emily will present her app at Coolest Projects International on 5 May in the Mobile Apps category.
Harold Perez, whose children, 12-year-old Lucas and 9-year-old Oriana, presented their projects last year, said, “It’s a fun day. They get to share their projects and see what other people are doing.”
“As much as everything is about coding, it’s also about communication.”
“I tell the kids they’re not going to get their start-ups up and running unless they sell their idea and are able to talk and present and get other people enthused.”
“I also tell parents not to worry about the project part of Coolest Projects. It’s all about the fun and coolness, so don’t stress about the project being the best — or even being complete.”
“It’s not your typical competition, rather it’s about sharing. I notice the kids are as much focused on what everyone else is doing as on what they’ve done.”
“It’s all about the fun and sharing. That’s what makes Coolest Projects cool!”