Circuits and magic mirrors: How the BNY Mellon Dojo is preparing for Coolest Projects

At the BNY Mellon CoderDojo club — based in the Dublin Docklands — the young attendees are busy getting their ideas together for Coolest Projects International. There is a wonderful atmosphere at this industrious club on a Friday evening, which has eight young people in attendance between the ages of 7 and 12.

This evening, volunteers are using breadboards and LEDs to help the young people build circuits. For Coolest Projects, we’ve been told that most of the young people “will be doing Scratch, with an element of hardware”. At this Dojo, the possibilities are endless!

Exciting projects underway!

There is no shortage of cool ideas at the BNY Mellon Dojo, and some of the young people have already made a start on their projects.

Oisin is working on an awesome ‘Smart mirror’ — a facial recognition project based on Raspbian. He has trained the programme to recognise his own face, and to greet all new people with “hello stranger”. One of Oisin’s top tips is to make notes when building a project to log ideas, learnings, and challenges. 

 We also caught up with Samaira, who has a cool idea for an environmental project which will detect moisture in plants to prevent overwatering. Looking forward to seeing it, Samaira!

We loved hearing about all the project ideas at the BNY Mellon Dojo. Arthur’s ‘Battle of the century’ project is based around a game where you have to battle through memes that people don’t find funny anymore. Evan is working on a Raspberry Pi camera project called ‘Dog spy’, Nina and Konrad are busy creating their project ‘How fast can you kick a ball’, and pals Lily and Ruby are working on a top secret idea for their project. How fun!

Wherever you are with your project, there is still time to register!

There is now less than one month left to register a project for Coolest Projects International, which takes place at The RDS, Dublin, on 6 June.

It is only their second session of the year, but the young people at the BNY Mellon Dojo are already working on their ideas for Coolest Projects! If you are hoping to enter Coolest Projects too, remember that there is still time — and that your project does not need to be finished in order to register! It’s OK if you only have an idea at this stage.

Just like the age range at the BNY Mellon Dojo, Coolest Projects is open to both younger and older children up to age 18. Likewise, we welcome projects from young people of all levels — whether it is your first Scratch project, or an advanced piece of technology!

See you in Dublin on 6 June!

We’d like to thank BNY Mellon for their generous support, and also thank Edel and all the volunteers at the Dojo in Dublin. We can’t wait to see what the young people have created on 6 June. If you know a young person who would love to attend, encourage them to register before the 5 April deadline!

Coolest Projects is a flagship event of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. For the last two years BNY Mellon has generously supported the Raspberry Pi Foundation programmes in the UK and Ireland, including Coolest Projects, Code Club, and CoderDojo. Thanks to the support of our partners, the work of the Raspberry Pi Foundation now represents one of the largest sustained global efforts to help young people learn computing and digital making.