Travel bursary tales: Andy and Alp’s “unique and unforgettable experience”

With the help of a travel bursary, Andy Emre Kocak, aged 13, travelled from Istanbul to Dublin in May 2019 to attend Coolest Projects International. Andy traveled with other members of the Hisar School’s coding club, including his teammate, Alp, aged 14. Andy and Alp presented their project uPi Robot Kit, a Raspberry Pi–powered kit that “has all the tools required to start up a robotics adventure.”

A meeting of cultures

Andy remembers Coolest Projects International as “a very unique and unforgettable experience.” A special highlight for him was the international focus of the event, and the potential for young people from all over the world to connect, learn from, and inspire each other: “[Coolest Projects International] created an environment where we can all benefit, build bridges between different cultures and perspectives. And as a person who values education a lot, I found this environment significantly valuable.”  

Building projects…and friendships!

Teamwork, collaboration, and forming friendships are all important parts of many young people’s Coolest Projects journeys. This was no different for Andy and his project partner, Alp, who developed their project together, and then won the prize in the Senior Hardware category for their outstanding work. Andy was delighted with the win, but also noted the other important aspects that make Coolest Projects so personally significant: “You will learn very important skills and create an awesome project, whether you won or lost. Moreover, I wouldn’t have been able to turn this idea to a completed product without the help of my dear partner, Alp.”

Andy and Alp onstage accepting their prize for winning the Senior Hardware category

Participating in Coolest Projects International 2019 was undoubtedly a fun, valuable, and memorable experience for Andy, and one that he will use to continue developing his skills and realising his ideas: “I plan on developing my programming skills to an even better degree. I, along with my friends, would love to participate in this event once again.”

Andy and Alp’s travel bursary was in part funded by one of our generous Coolest Projects sponsors, BNY Mellon.

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