Sonja’s experience of this amazing regional showcase
I was fortunate enough to travel to Mechelen’s Technopolis to join CoderDojo Belgium for their impressive Coolest Projects event. On Saturday, April 28 the young tech community of Belgium came together to showcase their projects for the CoderDojo community and the public. 110 young makers presented 64 projects throughout the day.
The main event was the exhibition of the young coders’ projects. Additionally, there was a pop up Dojo for interested people from the public and an exhibitor space where kids could experience a number of additional technologies like virtual reality, robots and lego projects.
The broad range of projects presented by the kids at Coolest Projects was most impressive! Among others, I tried Gitte’s Scratch Space Shooter Project and let Ella and Liselore sent me on a Mars Mission.
I also spoke to Bo, who developed “Cool kits”. Not only does Bo make cool projects, he worked on making them accessible for others. He found that a lot of the projects he was put on were aimed at younger kids, so he developed a tool kit with instructions for 12 year-olds and older that includes all the bits to replicate his robot car and other cool projects. I am in awe of this mature can-do attitude where you see an issue and you work on solving it.
This spirit was shown by young people across the board. Some of the many other projects showcased were a robot hand, a rainbow and unicorn dispensing motion sensor and a facial recognition program for people with Alzheimer’s that takes a picture of the person at the door and compares it to a database of pictures of known people.
A special shout-out to Lize who presented at Coolest Projects Belgium and will present a whole different second project at Coolest Projects International just one weekend after. And who can blame her, I certainly can’t wait for more inspirational projects and the beauty of seeing like-minded young people connect to create awesomeness.
Last but not least, I want to thank CoderDojo Belgium for the warm welcome I received! It was a joy to chat and exchange ideas with staff and volunteers. The team put together a truly impressive event! If you want to get a glimpse of the atmosphere, see some interviews and projects, then you can catch up with this video.