In this blog post, Vasu from our team interviewed Aditi, a young creator from India, to find out about her experience of participating in Coolest Projects 2020.
Aditi is a 14-year-old from Noida, India, and is currently studying Grade 11. She participated in last year’s Coolest Projects online showcase and is keen to get involved again this year and encourage other students to join in the fun for Coolest Projects 2021.
V: Why did you decide to take part in Coolest Projects online 2020?
A: My teacher informed me about this global challenge and I asked myself, why not? My parents have always taught me that challenge is a part of learning. In fact, I have this quote in front of my study table, it reads, “If there is no struggle, then there is no progress” At its very core, challenges and competitions instills skills and strategies that empower us which then makes us thrive in our life. I knew it was a long shot to get selected as one of the favourites, but that did not deter me to participate. I knew I had to work on an idea that was close to me and raise awareness about it in my neighbourhood and this was just the right push that I needed.
V: What inspired your project idea?
A: My project was Cleeo, a mobile app for recycling e-waste. I have been living in an urban area and thanks to the hard work of my parents, I have been blessed to get access to all kinds of technologies in the world. While I have been an avid user, at the same time it always used to intrigue me as to what really happens to that old phone that I threw away and bought a new one! I was always curious and when I started researching about this and understood the hazardous ramifications of e-waste, I instantly knew that this is something that I want to tell people about.
V: What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Well, one of the biggest challenges was that I did not fully understand how to build an app. I worked on learning how to build an app for months. My idea in my head was very clear, the app will collect information from the user wanting to dispose of their e-waste and a collector will then contact them to collect the e-waste and then offer them a reasonable price. One of the biggest challenges was how to take it to people and encourage them to use it. The idea of green certificates and awarding users points was a deal breaker for my project. Figuring out the business model side of it was also very challenging because this was literally the first time I was preparing a project plan, an app, [and] a financial model to support it. But I am happy to say that it all is well, that ends well.
A: How did you feel seeing your project featured in the Coolest Projects online showcase?
I was really excited to see my project feature in the online showcase. I’d like to, in fact, thank the Raspberry Pi Foundation team for conducting this online because if not for that, I would have never been able to participate. As much as I was excited to see my project, it was such an amazing learning experience just seeing the other projects that the students submitted. Some of the ideas were beyond my imagination and it really helped me grow my perspective towards real-world problems and using technology to solve it. It really pushed me to work really hard on my entry for Coolest Projects 2021!
V: If someone was thinking about taking part in Coolest Projects, what would you say to them?
A: I would rather shout “JUST DO IT!”. I know what some of the students feel, given it is a global challenge, the skills of the participants would be really high and that there is no point in participating. I know this feeling because I overcame it too. The beauty of this challenge is that there is no ONE winner, there are so many favourites. This is a chance to represent your skills and like I said in the beginning — challenges and overcoming them are crucial for gaining real life skills for anyone.
I would also like to add that the support that you will get from the Coolest Projects team is also very helpful. You can attend so many webinars, get local support, and the fact that there are so many categories this year, it makes it more flexible and welcoming for students to participate.
V: Share three words that sum up your Coolest Projects experience!
A: Entrepreneurial learning journey!
We want to thank Aditi from the entire Coolest Projects team for giving us the opportunity to interview her and share her experience with the world.
If Aditi has inspired you about Coolest Projects, you can register to take part today!