This year, for the fifth year running, Coolest Projects International took place in the RDS Main Hall in Dublin. With nearly 700 young tech creators from all over the world presenting their inventions, the event truly lived up to its reputation as the world’s leading technology exhibition for young people.
I was delighted to see young people participating from 20 countries, including Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and of course, Ireland.
This year’s amazing projects
The level of skill and entrepreneurship that the participants displayed on the day was a real highlight for me, and I was amazed by the projects that they had created. The inventions ranged from projects addressing climate change, to assistive technologies, to video games, and GPS-enabled mountaineering websites.
One of my favourite projects of the day, and the winner of the senior website category, was a website called My Colour Blindness. The website was built with HTML 5 and CSS, and included helpful information for people who are colourblind, and for people who are not. It was a fantastic example of social entrepreneurship.
Another fascinating project, entitled Go with the Flow Meter, came from a group of young coders from Co. Galway, Ireland. It was entered in the Junior section of the Hardware category. The group designed a device that took an image of a flow meter, used this image to capture the reading, and saved it to a computer, where it could be stored and graphed over time.
Presentations, games, and highlights
When they weren’t showcasing their projects, participants also had an opportunity to see some awesome presentations on the main stage. YouTube sensations Estefannie Explains It All and Allen Pan came all the way from the USA to demonstrate their ingenious creations and give keynote speeches. And young creators from the community presented their projects from previous Coolest Projects events, along with their current projects, and talked about animation, apps, social entrepreneurship, and mentoring at local coding clubs. The escape rooms and History of Video Games exhibition also proved a big hit!
Like last year, my favourite moment of the day was when all of the participants made their way to the Shelbourne hall for the highly anticipated awards ceremony.
A big thank you!
We have received lots of positive feedback since the event, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved, who helped make the day possible.
I would like to thank the Implementation team for their countless hours of dedication, the judges for their invaluable contribution, and the many new and returning volunteers, without whom this event wouldn’t be possible. I would also like to thank the speakers and exhibitors, who made the day so engaging, and our presenters, Philip Smyth, Maureen Butler, and RTE’s Mark Langtry.
I would also like to to thank our partners, whose continued support will always be appreciated.
I am grateful to my colleagues in the CoderDojo Foundation, who have played such a key role over the last few weeks and months. I would also 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 team at Catapult for making our ideas come to life, and of course, to the RDS for facilitating our event.
And finally, I would like to thank the young people who showcased their incredible projects on the day. I was overwhelmed by the skills, dedication, and talent you all showed. You are an inspiration to all of us, your families, and each other.
See you all next year!