Tag Archives: digital making

Celebrating young tech creators in person: Coolest Projects events 2023

Post Syndicated from Helen Gardner original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-in-person-events-2023/

In the 2023 Coolest Projects online showcase, 5801 young people from all over the world shared the wonderful, fun, and creative things they had made with technology. But that’s not all we’ve seen of Coolest Projects this year. As well as our worldwide annual online showcase, a number of in-person Coolest Projects events are taking place in countries across the globe in 2023.

The exhibition hall at Coolest Projects Ireland 2023.
The exhibition hall at Coolest Projects Ireland 2023.

Run by us or partner organisations, these exciting events create a space for young people to meet other young tech creators, connect to their community, and celebrate each others’ creations. In-person Coolest Projects events around the world had to pause over the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re delighted to see them return to engage and inspire young people once again.

Coolest Projects Ireland in Dublin

On 1 July, we were super excited to host Coolest Projects Ireland, our first in-person Coolest Projects event since 2020. 63 young tech creators from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland came together in Dublin for an exciting one-day event where they shared 43 incredible creations, with engineer and STEM communicator Dr Niamh Shaw leading everyone through the day’s celebrations.

Young tech creators with projects in the Scratch category on stage at Coolest Projects Ireland.
The creators with projects in the Scratch category on stage with Dr Niamh Shaw.

One young maker showcasing her project was Charlotte from Kinsale CoderDojo in the Republic of Ireland. Her creative storytelling project ‘Goldicat and the Three Angry Property Owners’ was chosen as a judges’ favourite in the Scratch category.

Charlotte’s story includes different games and three secret endings for the user to discover. She told us: “I know someone who made an animation based off the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel in Scratch. This inspired me to make a game based off a different fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Charlotte’s project ‘Goldicat and the Three Angry Property Owners’.

Harshit entered the Hardware category with his amazing mini vending machine. Describing his project, he explained, “This is a recreation of a vending machine, but I have added my own twists to it to make it simple to build. You still get the full experience of an actual vending machine, but what makes it special is that it is made fully out of recycled materials.”

A young tech creator with a hardware project at Coolest Projects Ireland.
Harshit with his mini vending machine project.

Young people at Coolest Projects Ireland were joined and supported by family, friends, and mentors from Code Clubs and CoderDojos. Mentors told us their favourite things about attending a Coolest Projects event in person were “the joy and excitement the participants got from taking part and discussing their project with the judges”, and “the way it was very inclusive to all children and all [were] included on stage for some swag!”

Coolest Projects events by partners around the world

In 2023 we’re partnering with six organisations that are bringing Coolest Projects events for their communities. We’re still looking forward to the exciting Coolest Projects events planned in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Iraq, and South Africa during the rest of the year. 

Back in June, more than 30 young creators participated in Coolest Projects Hungary, which was organised in Budapest by the team at EPAM. And April saw our partner CoderDojo Belgium organise Coolest Projects Belgium for 40 young people, who shared 25 projects across different categories from Scratch to Hardware and Advanced Programming.

The CoderDojo Belgium team shared how important the Coolest Projects event is to their community:

“Just like every year, we’ve unlocked the doors to welcome the next generation of tech enthusiasts. And this year, once again, we were absolutely amazed by the projects they brought to the spotlight. From an app predicting stock market evolution, to creatively designed games with unexpected twists, not to mention the incredible robots, and more, their ingenuity knows no bounds.”

CoderDojo Belgium

How you can get involved in Coolest Projects

We’re excited that the Coolest Projects online showcase — open to any young creator anywhere in the world — will return in 2024. And if there isn’t a Coolest Projects in-person event in your country yet, don’t worry. We’re working with more and more partners every year to bring Coolest Projects events to more young people.

To stay up to date with news about the Coolest Projects online showcase, sign up to the newsletter.

Young people and an adult mentor at a computer at Coolest Projects Ireland 2023.

And you can celebrate young tech creators with us year round wherever you are by following Coolest Projects on XInstagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, where we share inspiring projects from the Coolest Projects online gallery and photos from the in-person events.

We’d like to thank Meta, GoTo, and Pimoroni for supporting the Coolest Projects Ireland event. If you’re interested in partnering with us for Coolest Projects, please reach out to us via email.

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More Unity: Dive deeper into 3D worlds, game design and programming

Post Syndicated from Marc Scott original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/more-unity-3d-game-design/

Our ‘Intro to Unity’ educational project path is a big success, sparking lots of young people’s passion for 3D game design and programming. Today we introduce the ‘More Unity‘ project path — the perfect next step for young people who have completed our ‘Intro to Unity‘ path. This new free path is designed to bridge the gap for young people before they start on the tutorials on the Unity learning platform.

Our work to create this path builds on our partnership with Unity, through which we aim to offer any young person, anywhere, the opportunity to take their first steps in creating virtual worlds using real-time 3D.

More Unity builds on foundations

After young people have tried out the Unity Engine and C# programming through the ‘Intro to Unity’ path, they’re ready for a deeper exploration of 3D game design. ‘More Unity’ helps them build on the foundational skills they learned in the ‘Intro to Unity’ path. After completing this new path, they’ll be able to add complexity, new challenges, and heaps of fun to all their 3D creations.

We’ve prepared a comprehensive Unity Guide to assist with getting ready to start either the ‘Intro to Unity’ or ‘More Unity’ path. To create with Unity, learners need access to a computer with a graphics card, the latest version of the free Unity Games Engine, and a code editor. For the extra Blender-based projects (see below), they need the latest version of the free Blender software.

Dive into the projects in the ‘More Unity’ path

The project path consists of six projects. Like in ‘Intro to Unity’, each project introduces new skills bit by bit, enabling young people to independently code their own, next-level Unity creation in the final project.

Rainbow run

This first project shows how to build an exciting 3D simulation. With ‘Rainbow run’, learners create colourful tracks and guide a marble to race along them. We also offer them an extra project guide where they can customise the look of their marble using Blender.

Disco dance floor

Next, with ‘Disco dance floor’, learners code an interactive, tilting dance floor that responds to a rolling ball with sound and colour. They can add their own style to the dance floor by following our extra Blender project.

Don’t fall through

‘Don’t fall through’ is the third project in the path. Here, learners code a two-player game that requires strategy and timing as marbles traverse a vanishing tiled floor.

Pixel art reveal

‘Pixel art reveal’ comes next in the path. It helps learners design unique pixel art on a tiled floor and reveal their awesome artwork by rolling a ball across the surface.

Track designer

In ‘Track designer’, we invite learners to truly think like game designers. This project empowers learners to design unique tilting tracks filled with obstacles, personalised effects, sounds, and more.

Marble mayhem

Finally ‘Marble mayhem’ lets young people bring to life all the principles of physics and materials in the Unity Game Engine they’ve learned about while following the ‘More Unity’ path. This is their place to create a one-of-a-kind game or digital toy that truly reflects their creativity.

Growing skills through Unity

‘More Unity’ promotes young people’s creativity, problem-solving, and independence. Each project presents them with the chance to create a virtual world of physics, materials, and mechanics. With each project they’ll learn lots of new skills in 3D modeling, gameplay design, and programming.

The path includes a community gallery where young people can share their new 3D creations and see what their peers all over the world have made.

The skills young people gain through the ‘Intro to Unity’ and ‘More Unity’ path provide them with a solid foundation to continue to learn and create with Unity. To follow their passion for 3D worlds, game design, and programming further, they can move on to the hundreds of tutorials available on Unity’s learning platform.

Get ready for ‘More Unity’: Our support for educators, volunteers and parents

Our detailed Unity guide will help you get everything set up for your young people to start with Unity, and the ‘Intro to Unity‘ path is the place for them to begin before they move on to ‘More Unity‘.

If you or your young people want to get a taste of the fun ‘More Unity’ has in store, there’s the Collision and colours Discover project to try out. This short learning experience showcases the new components the ‘More Unity’ path introduces.

To help our community of CoderDojo and Code Club volunteers bring Unity to their learners, we will host a free Unity-focused webinar on 13 July. Sign up to get a walkthrough of the path from our Learning Manager Mac Bowley, and to ask him any questions you might have.

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Celebrating 5801 young people’s digital creations at Coolest Projects 2023

Post Syndicated from Helen Gardner original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-coolest-projects-2023/

An absolutely huge congratulations to each and every single young creator who participated in Coolest Projects 2023, our digital technology showcase for young people! 5801 young people from 37 countries took part. This year’s participants made projects that entertained, inspired, and wowed us — creators showcased everything from robotic arms to platformer games.

We celebrated every project and maker in a special livestream event this Tuesday:

Each year, we invite VIP judges to pick their favourite projects. This year they had the difficult job of choosing between 4111 incredible projects young people showcased. Meet the judges and find out which projects were their favourites.

Yewande Akinola’s favourite projects

Yewande is a chartered engineer, innovator, and speaker. She has worked on projects in the UK, Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia, and has been named the UK Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering & Technology.

Yewande Akinola gives a speech.

See Yewande’s favourites:

Coolest Projects 2023 Scratch favourites.

Vaishali Sharma’s favourite projects

Vaishali is an Indian engineer, innovator, and revolutionary educationist. She is the co-founder of Young Tinker Academy and Young Tinker Foundation, started in 2015 to educate the less-privileged students of rural India. Her team at Young Tinker Foundation has impacted the lives of 150,000+ students.

Vaishali Sharma gives a speech.

Vaishali’s favourites are:

Coolest Projects 2023 web favourites.

Lella Halloum’s favourite projects

Lella is an award-winning 18-year-old Digital Changemaker and Power of Youth Champion. Since she taught herself to code at age 8, Lella fosters purpose-driven innovation to create global industry opportunities that ensure young people are at the forefront of the ongoing digital transformation.

Lella Halloum.

Lella’s favourite projects are:

Coolest Projects 2023 games favourites.

Aoife Flynn’s favourite projects

Aoife is the Head of Community Development for Meta Data Centres in Europe and Asia. She and her team deliver on Meta’s commitment to playing a positive role and investing in the long-term vitality of Meta Data Centre communities in Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Singapore.

Aoife Flynn.

See Aoife’s favourite projects:

Coolest Projects 2023 mobile apps favourites.

Broadcom Coding with Commitment™ award

Broadcom Foundation has partnered with us for Coolest Projects to encourage young people who are solving problems that impact their communities. Broadcom Coding with Commitment™ is a special recognition for a Coolest Projects creator aged 11–14 who has learned basic coding as an essential problem-solving tool in STEM and is “thinking globally while acting locally.”

Coolest Projects 2023 entry that received the Broadcom Coding with Commitment award.

The Broadcom Coding with Commitment™ recognition goes to Smart Farm, a project by Dang, Chi, and An from Vietnam. They designed Smart Farm to help farmers in their community regulate the temperature of animals, feed them on time, and check them for diseases. The team also built a fish pond model that tests the pH of the water and a vegetable garden model that detects when vegetables are wilting, all with the aim of helping local farmers to care for their livestock and protect their livelihoods. Huge congratulations to the team!

There’s so much more to celebrate

Our judges have chosen their favourite projects — but what about yours? You can explore thousands of incredible projects for 2023 young creators in the Coolest Projects showcase gallery and discover your favourites today.

Coolest Projects 2023 hardware favourites.

All young creators who took part will shortly receive their own unique certificate to recognise their amazing achievements. They’ll also be able to log into their Coolest Projects account to find personalised feedback on their projects from our judging team.

Coolest Projects 2023 advanced programming favourites.

Support from our Coolest Projects sponsors means we can make the online showcase and celebration livestream an inspiring experience for the young people taking part. We want to say a big thank you to all of them: Allianz Technologies, Broadcom Foundation, EPAM Systems, Liberty Global, Meta, and Qube Research and Technologies.

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Register your project for Coolest Projects 2023 now

Post Syndicated from Helen Gardner original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/register-for-coolest-projects-2023/

Young creators, it’s time to share your ideas with the world! Registration for Coolest Projects is now open.

Coolest Projects logo.

Coolest Projects is an online showcase celebrating all young people who create with digital technology. From today, Monday 6 February, young people can register their projects on the Coolest Projects website. Registered projects will be part of the online showcase gallery, for people all over the world to see.

By entering your digital tech creations into Coolest Projects, you’ll have the chance to get personalised feedback about your project, represent your country in the online showcase, and get fun, limited-edition swag. Your project could even be selected as a favourite by our very special VIP judges.

What you need to know about Coolest Projects

Coolest Projects is an online celebration of young digital tech creators worldwide, their skills, and their wonderful creative ideas. We welcome all kinds of projects, from big to small, beginner to advanced, and work in progress to completed creation.

A young person creating a project at a laptop. An adult is sat next to them.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Coolest Projects is all online and completely free
  • All digital technology projects are welcome, from very first projects to advanced builds, and they don’t have to be complete
  • Young creators up to age 18 from anywhere in the world can take part individually or in teams of up to five friends
  • Projects can be registered in one of six categories: Scratch, games, web, mobile apps, hardware, and advanced programming
  • Registration is now open and closes on 26 April 2023
  • All creators, mentors, volunteers, teachers, parents, and supporters are invited to the special celebration livestream on 6 June 2023

Five steps to taking part in Coolest Projects

  1. Imagine your idea for a project
  2. Choose your project category
  3. Gather a group of friends or work by yourself to make your project
  4. Register the project in a few clicks to share it in the showcase gallery
  5. Explore the other projects from around the world in the showcase gallery, and join the community at the special celebration livestream
A group of young people plan their projects on laptops.

If you’d like help with your idea or project, take a look at our free, step-by-step Coolest Projects workbook and coding project guides. You can also get inspired by all the creations in the 2022 showcase gallery.

You are also very welcome to register a tech project you’ve already made and want to share with the world this year.

We offer free resources to help mentors and parents support young people through the process of taking part in Coolest Projects, from imagining ideas, to creating projects, to registration.

A parent and young person work on a digital making project at home.

There are loads more announcements to come, so make sure to subscribe to the Coolest Projects newsletter to be the first to find out about this year’s VIP judges, limited-edition digital swag, and much more.

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Combining research and practice to evaluate and improve computing education in non-formal settings

Post Syndicated from Bonnie Sheppard original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/research-practice-evaluate-improve-computing-education-non-formal-settings-seminar/

In the final seminar in our series on cross-disciplinary computing, Dr Tracy Gardner and Rebecca Franks, who work here at the Foundation, described the framework underpinning the Foundation’s non-formal learning pathways. They also shared insights from our recently published literature review about the impact that non-formal computing education has on learners.

Tracy and Rebecca both have extensive experience in teaching computing, and they are passionate about inspiring young learners and broadening access to computing education. In their work here, they create resources and content for learners in coding clubs and young people at home.

How non-formal learning creates opportunities for computing education

UNESCO defines non-formal learning as “institutionalised, intentional, and planned… an addition, alternative, and/or complement to formal education within the process of life-long learning of individuals”. In terms of computing education, this kind of learning happens in after-school programmes or children’s homes as they engage with materials that have been carefully designed by education providers.

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we support two global networks of free, volunteer-led coding clubs where regular non-formal learning takes place: Code Club, teacher- and volunteer-led coding clubs for 9- to 13-year-olds taking place in schools in more than160 countries; and CoderDojo, volunteer-led programming clubs for young people aged 7–17 taking place in community venues and offices in 100 countries. Through free learning resources and other support, we enable volunteers to run their club sessions, offering versatile opportunities and creative, inclusive spaces for young people to learn about computing outside of the school curriculum. Volunteers who run Code Clubs or CoderDojos report that participating in the club sessions positively impacts participants’ programming skills and confidence.

Rebecca and Tracy are part of the team here that writes the learning resources young people in Code Clubs and CoderDojos (and beyond) use to learn to code and create technology. 

Helping learners make things that matter to them

Rebecca started the seminar by describing how the team reviewed existing computing pedagogy research into non-formal learning, as well as large amounts of website visitor data and feedback from volunteers, to establish a new framework for designing and creating coding resources in the form of learning paths.

What the Raspberry Pi Foundation takes into account when creating non-formal learning resources: what young people are making, young people's interests, research, user data, our own experiences as educators, the Foundation's other educational offers, ideas of purpose-driven computing.
What the Raspberry Pi Foundation takes into account when creating non-formal learning resources. Click to enlarge.

As Rebecca explained, non-formal learning paths should be designed to bridge the so-called ‘Turing tar-pit’: the gap between what learners want to do, and what they have the knowledge and resources to achieve.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation's non-formal learning resources bridge the so-called Turing tar pit, in which learners get stuck when they feel everything is possible to create, but nothing is easy.

To prevent learners from getting frustrated and ultimately losing interest in computing, learning paths need to:

  • Be beginner-friendly
  • Include scaffolding
  • Support learner’s design skills
  • Relate to things that matter to learners

When Rebecca and Tracy’s team create new learning paths, they first focus on the things that learners want to make. Then they work backwards to bridge the gap between learners’ big ideas and the knowledge and skills needed to create them. To do this, they use the 3…2…1…Make! framework they’ve developed.

An illustration of the 3-2-1 structure of the new Raspberry Pi Foundation coding project paths.
An illustration of the 3…2…1…Make! structure of the new Raspberry Pi Foundation non-formal learning paths.

Learning paths designed according to the framework are made up of three different types of project in a 3-2-1 structure:

  • Three Explore projects to introduce creators to a set of skills and provide step-by-step instructions to help them develop initial confidence
  • Two Design projects to allow creators to practise the skills they learned in the previous Explore projects, and to express themselves creatively while they grow in independence
  • One Invent project where creators use their skills to meet a project brief for a particular audience

You can learn more about the framework in this blog post and this guide for adults who run sessions with young people based on the learning paths. And you can explore the learning paths yourself too.

Rebecca and Tracy’s team have created several new learning pathways based on the 3…2…1…Make! framework and received much positive feedback on them. They are now looking to develop more tools and libraries to support learners, to increase the accessibility of the paths, and also to conduct research into the impact of the framework. 

New literature review of non-formal computing education showcases its positive impact

In the second half of the seminar, Tracy shared what the research literature says about the impact of non-formal learning. She and researchers at the Foundation particularly wanted to find out what the research says about computing education for K–12 in non-formal settings. They systematically reviewed 421 papers, identifying 88 papers from the last seven years that related to empirical research on non-formal computing education for young learners. Based on these 88 papers, they summarised the state of the field in a literature review.

So far, most studies of non-formal computing education have looked at knowledge and skill development in computing, as well as affective factors such as interest and perception. The cognitive impact of non-formal education has been generally positive. The papers Tracy and the research reviewed suggested that regular learning opportunities, such as weekly Code Clubs, were beneficial for learners’ knowledge development, and that active teaching of problem solving skills can lead to learners’ independence.

In the literature review the Raspberry Pi Foundation team conducted, most research studies were university-organised on projects to broaden participation and interest development in immersive multi-day settings.

Non-formal computing education also seems to be beneficial in terms of affective factors (although it is unclear yet whether the benefits remain long-term, since most existing research studies conducted have been short-term ones). For example, out-of-school programmes can lead to more positive perception and increased awareness of computing for learners, and also boost learners’ confidence and self-efficacy if they have had little prior experience of computing. The social aspects of participating in coding clubs should not be underestimated, as learners can develop a sense of belonging and support as they work with their peers and mentors.

The affordances of non-formal computing activities that complement formal education: access and awareness, cultural relevance and equity, practice and personalisation, fun and engagement, community and identity, immediate impact.

The literature review showed that non-formal computing complements formal in-school education in many ways. Not only can Code Clubs and CoderDojos be accessible and equitable spaces for all young people, because the people who run them can tailor learning to the individuals. Coding clubs such as these succeed in making computing fun and engaging by enabling a community to form and allowing learners to make things that are meaningful to them.

What existing studies in non-formal computing aren’t telling us

Another thing the literature review made obvious is that there are big gaps in the existing understanding of non-formal computing education that need to be researched in more detail. For example, most of the studies the papers in the literature review described took place with female students in middle schools in the US.

That means the existing research tells us little about non-formal learning:

  • In other geographic locations
  • In other educational settings, such as primary schools or after-school programmes
  • For a wider spectrum of learners

We would also love to see studies that hone in on:

  • The long-term impact of non-formal learning
  • Which specific factors contribute to positive outcomes
  • Non-formal learning about aspects of computing beyond programming


We’re excited to continue collaborating within the Foundation so that our researchers and our team creating non-formal learning content can investigate the impact of the 3…2…1…Make! framework.

At Coolest Projects, a group of people explore a coding project.
The aim of the 3…2…1…Make! framework is to enable young people to create things and solve problems that matter to them using technology.

This collaboration connects two of our long-term strategic goals: to engage millions of young people in learning about computing and how to create with digital technologies outside of school, and to deepen our understanding of how young people learn about computing and how to create with digital technologies, and to use that knowledge to increase the impact of our work and advance the field of computing education. Based on our research, we will iterate and improve the framework, in order to enable even more young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. 

Join our seminar series on primary computing education

From January, you can join our new monthly seminar series on primary (K–5) teaching and learning. In this series, we’ll hear insights into how our youngest learners develop their computing knowledge, so whether you’re a volunteer in a coding club, a teacher, a researcher, or simply interested in the topic, we’d love to see you at one of these monthly online sessions.

The first seminar, on Tuesday 10 January at 5pm UK time, will feature researchers and educators Dr Katie Rich and Carla Strickland. They will share findings on how to teach children about variables, one of the most difficult aspects of computing for young learners. Sign up now, and we will send you notifications and joining links for each seminar session.

We look forward to seeing you soon, and to discussing with you how we can apply research results to better support all our learners.

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Coolest Projects Global will be back in 2023

Post Syndicated from Helen Gardner original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-global-will-be-back-in-2023/

Young tech creators, get ready: Coolest Projects Global will be back in 2023 and we want to make this the year of your big idea!

A young person is excited about something on a computer screen.

Coolest Projects Global is the world’s leading online technology showcase for young creators across the world, and we’ll soon be inviting young people to share their creations in the 2023 gallery when project registration opens on 6 February

A group of Coolest Projects participants from all over the world wave their flags.

For young creators, Coolest Projects Global is the unique opportunity to share their big ideas with the whole world. All projects in our open online showcase receive personalised feedback from judges, and all creators get some awesome limited-edition swag too. To bring all the participants together, we’ll host a live-streamed celebration event online on 6 June 2023, where we’ll also reveal the favourite projects of our very special VIP judges.

How does Coolest Projects Global work?

  • Coolest Projects Global is completely free, it’s all online, and it’s open to all digital creators up to age 18 from anywhere in the world. Creators can take part independently or in teams of up to five.
  • Tech creators of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Coolest Projects is for young people who are beginners, advanced, or anything in between.
  • We love to see works in progress, so projects don’t need to be completed to be registered.
  • Projects can be registered in six categories: Scratch, games, web, mobile apps, hardware, and advanced programming.
  • Creators can choose topics including community, environment, health, fun, art, education, and identity.
  • Judges evaluate projects based on their coolness, complexity, design, usability, and presentation, and give personalised feedback about each project.
  • Project registration opens on 6 February and stays open until 26 April.
  • The livestream event on 6 June will celebrate all the creators’ projects and reveal the judges’ favourites.

Creators who took part in 2022 told us that the coolest thing about Coolest Projects Global is that “so many people around the world get to see and appreciate your projects” and that “anyone can have a go”.

Four young people working together on a tech project.

What makes a coolest project?

Coolest Projects creators make digital tech projects that matter to them and that they want to share with the world. Creators have all different levels of skill — some register their very first coding project, and others have taken part in Coolest Projects for years. We welcome every project from every young person in Coolest Projects. With six project categories from Scratch to hardware, and project topics including environment, health, and fun, creators come up with all kinds of cool ideas.

Two young people working together on a tech project.

Take a look at the online showcase gallery to see the projects young makers shared in the most recent showcase, including an app about recycling, a smiley face game, a trash-collecting boat, and a game to help you eat more healthily

What’s next?

Registration opens on 6 February 2023, and creators can get started on their ideas and make their projects any time.

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Celebrating the community: Selin

Post Syndicated from Rosa Brown original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-selin/

We are so excited to share another story from the community! Our series of community stories takes you across the world to hear from young people and educators who are engaging with creating digital technologies in their own personal ways. 

Selin and a robot she has built.
Selin and her robot guide dog IC4U.

In this story we introduce you to Selin, a digital maker from Istanbul, Turkey, who is passionate about robotics and AI. Watch the video to hear how Selin’s childhood pet inspired her to build tech projects that aim to help others live well.  

Meet Selin 

Selin (16) started her digital making journey because she wanted to solve a problem: after her family’s beloved dog Korsan passed away, she wanted to bring him back to life. Selin thought a robotic dog could be the answer, and so she started to design her project on paper. When she found out that learning to code would mean she could actually make a robotic dog, Selin began to teach herself about coding and digital making. Selin has since built seven robots, and her enthusiasm for creating digital technologies shows no sign of stopping.    

Selin is on one knee, next to her robot.
Selin and her robot guide dog IC4U.

One of Selin’s big motivations to explore digital making was having an event to work towards. When she discovered Coolest Projects, our global technology showcase for young people, Selin set herself the task of making a robot that she could present at the Coolest Projects event in 2018. 

When thinking about ideas for what to make for Coolest Projects, Selin remembered how it felt to lose her dog. She wondered what it must be like when a blind person’s guide dog passes away, as that person loses their friend as well as their support. So Selin decided to make a robotic guide dog called IC4U. She contacted several guide dog organisations to find out how guide dogs are trained and what they need to be able to do so she could replicate their behaviour in her robot. The robot is voice-controlled so that people with impaired sight can interact with it easily. 

Selin and the judges at Coolest Projects.
Selin at Coolest Projects International in 2018.

Selin and her parents travelled to Coolest Projects International in Dublin with Selin’s robotic guide dog, and Selin and IC4U became a judges’ favourite in the Hardware category. Selin enjoyed participating in Coolest Projects so much that she started designing her project for next year’s event straight away:    

“When I returned back I immediately started working for next year’s Coolest Projects.”  


Many of Selin’s tech projects share a theme: to help make the world a better place. For example, another robot made by Selin is the BB4All — a school assistant robot to tackle bullying. And last year, while she attended the Stanford AI4ALL summer camp, Selin worked with a group of young people to design a tech project to increase the speed and accuracy of lung cancer diagnoses.

Through her digital making projects, Selin wants to show how people can use robotics and AI technology to support people and their well-being. In 2021, Selin’s commitment to making these projects was recognised when she was awarded the Aspiring Teen Award by Women in Tech.           

Selin stands next to an photograph of herself. In the photograph she has a dog on one side and a robot dog on the other.

Listening to Selin, it is inspiring to hear how a person can use technology to express themselves as well as create projects that have the potential to do so much good. Selin acknowledges that sometimes the first steps can be the hardest, especially for girls  interested in tech: “I know it’s hard to start at first, but interests are gender-free.”

“Be curious and courageous, and never let setbacks stop you so you can actually accomplish your dream.”    


We have loved seeing all the wonderful projects that Selin has made in the years since she first designed a robot dog on paper. And it’s especially cool to see that Selin has also continued to work on her robot IC4U, the original project that led her to coding, Coolest Projects, and more. Selin’s robot has developed with its maker, and we can’t wait to see what they both go on to do next.

Help us celebrate Selin and inspire other young people to discover coding and digital making as a passion, by sharing her story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Take part in the Hour of Code

Post Syndicated from Liz Smart original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/hour-of-code-activities/

Launched in 2013, Hour of Code is an initiative to introduce young people to computer science using fun one-hour tutorials. To date, over 100 million young people have completed an hour of code with it. 

A girl doing a physical computing project.

Although the Hour of Code website is accessible all year round, every December for Computer Science Education Week people worldwide run their own Hour of Code events. Each year we love seeing many Code Clubs, CoderDojos, and young people at home across the community complete their Hour of Code. You can register your 2022 Hour of Code event now to run between 5 and 11 December. 

To support your event, we have pulled together a bumper set of our free coding projects, which can each be completed in just one hour. You will find these activities on the Hour of Code website.

Two young digital makers using Raspberry Pi

There’s something for all ages and levels of experience, so put an hour aside and help young people make something fabulous with code:

Ages 7–11


For younger creators new to coding, a Scratch project is a great place to start. 


With our Space talk project, they can create a space scene with characters that ‘emote’ to share their thoughts or feelings using sounds, colours, and actions. Creators program the character emotes using Scratch blocks to control graphic effects, costume animation, and sound effects. 

Alternatively, our Stress ball project lets them code an onscreen stress ball that reacts to user clicks. Creators use the Paint and Sound editors in Scratch to personalise a clickable stress ball, and they add Scratch blocks to control graphic effects, costume animation, and sound effects. 

We love this fun stress ball example sent to us recently by young creator April from the United States:

Another great option is to use Code Club World, which is a free tool to help children who are new to coding.  

Creators can develop a character avatar, design a T-shirt, make some music, and more.


For 7- to 11-year-olds who are more comfortable with block-based coding, our project Broadcasting spells is ideal to choose. With the project, they connect Scratch blocks to code a wand that casts spells turning sprites into toads, and growing and shrinking them. Creators use broadcast blocks to transform multiple sprites at once, and they create sound effects with the Sound editor in Scratch. 


Ages 11–14


We have three exciting projects for trying text-based coding during Hour of Code in this category. The first, Anime expressions, is one of our brand-new ‘Introduction to web development’ projects. With this project, young people create a responsive webpage with text and images for an anime drawing tutorial. They write HTML to structure the webpage and CSS styles to apply layout, colour palettes, and fonts. 

For a great introduction to coding with Python, we have the project Hello world from our ‘Introduction to Python’ path. With this project, creators write Python text-based code to create an interactive program that shows text and emojis based on user input. They learn about variables as they use them to store text and numbers, and they learn about writing functions to organise code and do calculations, retrieve the current date and time, and make a customisable dice. 


LED firefly is a fantastic physical making project in which young people use a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller and basic electronic components to create a blinking LED firefly. They program the LED’s light patterns with MicroPython code and activate it via a switch they make themselves using jumper wires.

A blinking LED with paper wings.


For 11- to 14-year-olds who are already comfortable with HTML, the Flip treat webcards project is a fun option. With this, they create a webpage showing a set of cards that flip when a visitor’s mouse pointer hovers over them. Creators use CSS styling and animations to add interactivity, then they customise the cards with fancy fonts and colour gradients.

Young people who have already done some Python coding can try out our project Target practice. With this project they create a game, using the p5 graphics library to draw a colourful target, and writing code so that the player scores points by hitting the target’s rings with arrows. While they create the project, they learn about RGB colours, shape positioning with x and y coordinates, and decisions using if, else-if, and else code statements. 

Ages 14+


Our project Charting champions is a great introduction to data visualisation and analysis for coders aged 15 and older. With the project, they will discover the power of the Python programming language as they store Olympic medal data in lists and use the pygal library to create an interactive chart.



Teenage coders who feel comfortable with Python programming can use our project Solar system simulator to code an animated, interactive solar system model using the Python p5 graphics library. Their model will be interactive, as they’ll use dictionaries to store planet facts that display when a user clicks on an orbiting planet.

Coding for Hour of Code and beyond

Now is the time to register your Hour of Code event, then decide which project you’d like to support young people to create. You can download certificates for each of the creators from the Hour of Code certificates page.

And make sure to check out our project paths so you know what projects you can help the young people you support to code beyond this one hour of code. 

We don’t just create activities so that other people can experience coding and digital making — we also get involved ourselves!

Two members of the Code Club working at computers.

Recently, our teams who support the Code Club and CoderDojo networks got together to make LED fireflies. We are excited to get coding again as part of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.

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Young people’s projects for a sustainable future

Post Syndicated from Rosa Brown original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/young-peoples-projects-for-a-sustainable-future/

This post has been adapted from issue 19 of Hello World magazine, which explored the interaction between technology and sustainability.

We may have had the Coolest Projects livestream, but we are still in awe of the 2092 projects that young people sent in for this year’s online technology showcase! To continue the Coolest Projects Global 2022 celebrations, we’re shining a light on some of the participants and the topics that inspired their projects.    

Coolest Projects team and participants at an in-person event.

In this year’s showcase, the themes of sustainability and the environment were extremely popular. We received over 300 projects related to the environment from young people all over the world. Games, apps, websites, hardware — we’ve seen so many creative projects that demonstrate how important the environment is to young people. 

Here are some of these projects and a glimpse into how kids and teens across the world are using technology to look after their environment.      

Using tech to make one simple change 

Has anyone ever told you that a small change can lead to a big impact? Check out these two Coolest Projects entries that put this idea into practice with clever inventions to make positive changes to the environment.

Arik (15) from the UK wanted to make something to reduce the waste he noticed at home. Whenever lots of people visited Arik’s house, getting the right drink for everyone was a challenge and often resulted in wasted, spilled drinks. This problem was the inspiration behind Arik’s ‘Liquid Dispenser’ project, which can hold two litres of any desired liquid and has an outer body made from reused cardboard. As Arik says, “You don’t need a plastic bottle, you just need a cup!”

A young person's home-made project to help people get a drink at the press of a button.
Arik’s project helps you easily select a drink with the press of a button

Amrit (13), Kingston (12), and Henry (12) from Canada were also inspired to make a project to reduce waste. ‘Eco Light’ is a light that automatically turns off when someone leaves their house to avoid wasted electricity. For the project, the team used a micro:bit to detect the signal strength and decide whether the LED should be on (if someone is in the house) or off (if the house is empty).

“We wanted to create something that hopefully would create a meaningful impact on the world.”

Amrit, Kingston, and Henry

Projects for local and global positive change 

We love to see young people invent things to have positive changes in the community, on a local and global level.

This year, Sashrika (11) from the US shared her ‘Gas Leak Detector’ project, which she designed to help people who heat their homes with diesel. On the east coast of America, many people store their gas tanks in the basement. This means they may not realise if the gas is leaking. To solve this problem, Sashrika has combined programming with physical computing to make a device that can detect if there is a gas leak and send a notification to your phone. 

A young person and their home-made gas leak detector.
Sashrika and her gas leak detector

Sashrika’s project has the power to help lots of people and she has even thought about how she would make more changes to her project in the name of sustainability: 

“I would probably add a solar panel because there are lots of houses that have outdoor oil tanks. Solar panel[s] will reduce electricity consumption and reduce CO2 emission[s].”


Amr in Syria was also thinking about renewable energy sources when he created his own ‘Smart Wind Turbine’.  

The ‘Smart Wind Turbine’ is connected to a micro:bit to measure the electricity generated by a fan. Amr conducted tests that recorded that more electricity was generated when the turbine faced in the direction of the wind. So Amr made a wind vane to determine the wind’s direction and added another micro:bit to communicate the results to the turbine. 

Creating projects for the future  

We’ve also seen projects created by young people to make the world a better place for future generations. 

Naira and Rhythm from India have designed houses that are suited for people and the planet. They carried out a survey and from their results they created the ‘Net Zero Home’. Naira and Rhythm’s project offers an idea for homes that are comfortable for people of all abilities and ages, while also being sustainable.

“Our future cities will require a lot of homes, this means we will require a lot of materials, energy, water and we will also produce a lot of waste. So we have designed this net zero home as a solution.”

Naira and Rhythm

Andrea (9) and Yuliana (10) from the US have also made something to benefit future generations. The ‘Bee Counter’ project uses sensors and a micro:bit to record bees’ activity around a hive. Through monitoring the bees, the team hope they can see (and then fix) any problems with the hive. Andrea and Yuliana want to maintain the bees’ home to help them continue to have a positive influence on our environment.

Knowledge is power: projects to educate and inspire 

Some young creators use Coolest Projects as an opportunity to educate and inspire people to make environmental changes in their own lives.

Sabrina (13) from the UK created her own website, ‘A Guide to Climate Change’. It includes images, text, graphics of the Earth’s temperature change, and suggestions for people to minimise their waste.  Sabrina also received the Broadcom Coding with Commitment award for using her skills to provide vital information about the effects of climate change.

Sabrina’s project

Kushal (12) from India wanted to use tech to encourage people to help save the environment. Kushal had no experience of app development before making his ‘Green Steps’ app. He says, “I have created a mobile app to connect like-minded people who want to do something about [the] environment.” 

A young person's app to help people connect over a shared interest in the environment.
Kushal’s app helps people to upload and save pictures, like content from other users, and access helpful resources

These projects are just some of the incredible ideas we’ve seen young people enter for Coolest Projects this year. It’s clear from the projects submitted that the context of the environment and protecting our planet resonates with so many students, summarised by Sabrina, “Some of us don’t understand how important the earth is to us. And I hope we don’t have to wait until it is gone to realise.” 

Check out the Coolest Projects showcase for even more projects about the environment, alongside other topics that have inspired young creators.

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Coolest Projects Global 2022: Celebrating young tech creators & creative ideas

Post Syndicated from original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-2022-celebration-favourites/

Congratulations to the thousands of creators from 46 countries who participated in Coolest Projects Global 2022. Their projects awed and inspired us. Yesterday STEM advocate and television host Fig O’Reilly helped us celebrate each and every one of these creators in our online event. Check out the gallery to see all the amazing projects.

During the celebration, Fig also revealed which projects were picked by the special judges as their favourites from among the 2092 projects in this year’s showcase gallery. Let’s meet the special judges and check out their picks!

Ruth Amos’s favourites

Ruth Amos is an inventor, entrepreneur, and EduTuber. She co-founded the #GirlsWithDrills movement and ‘Kids Invent Stuff’, a YouTube channel where 5- to 11-year-olds see their invention ideas become reality with the help of engineers.

Here are Ruth’s favourites:

  • The Hardware project Oura, made by Angelina and Catherine in the United States. Oura is an indoor air quality monitoring device that is tailorable, portable, and inexpensive. Ruth especially liked this project because she saw “[s]ome great prototyping and use of data.”
  • The Games project Egg Dog, made by Oakley and Alex from a Code Club in Australia. In the game, players explore for collectibles and fight off enemies as they try to find the exit for the next level. Ruth said that Egg Dog was a “[r]eally fun game, they obviously learnt a lot in the process of making the game.”
  • The Web project AllerG, made by Noah from a CoderDojo in the United States. AllerG is an accessible and crowdsourced database of menu allergens for people with food allergies. Ruth said, “The whole project was very well thought out”.
  • The Mobile Apps project EcoSnap, made by Uma and Bella in the United States. EcoSnap serves as an all-in-one toolkit for anyone hoping to help the environment. Ruth said, “You really thought about the user and changing perceptions.”
  • The Scratch project Trash-Collector, made by Rajan in the United Kingdom. In Rajan’s game, players take on the role of a scuba diver who needs to collect trash in the ocean. Ruth said, “I can’t wait to see more levels; it’s quite addictive!”
  • The Advanced Programming project Climate Change Detector, made by Arnav from a CoderDojo in India. The project is a data dashboard and platform to track pollution. Ruth said, “I love that you can change parameters and see the effect that would have.”

Shawn Brown’s favourites

Shawn Brown is an award-winning engineer, designer, and YouTuber. He’s also a practical pioneer for neurodiversity and innovation — raising awareness of learning differences and promoting science, engineering, and invention to young people. Together with Ruth, Shawn co-runs the YouTube channel ‘Kids Invent Stuff.’

Here are Shawn’s favourites:

  • The Hardware project Flow On the Go, made by Donal from a Code Club in the United Kingdom. Flow On the Go is a COVID-19 lateral flow test holder with a built-in camera that takes a picture of the test results after 15 minutes and sends a photo of the results via email. Shawn said, “I’ve absolutely been late for things before because I forgot to leave time to do a lateral flow test and your invention totally solves that problem in a really clever and effective way.”
  • The Games project Iron Defence, made by James in the United Kingdom. Iron Defence is a tower defence game where players defend against waves of enemies in a steampunk-themed assault. Shawn said, “Amazing work on seizing the opportunity to learn a new coding language”.
  • The Web project School Management System, made by Nebyu Daniel in Ethiopia. The project is a system used to store centralised data for a school. Shawn said, “The level of detail and the amount of different areas you’ve considered is really impressive!”
  • The Mobile Apps project RecyBuddy, made by Ryan in the United States. RecyBuddy is designed to assist and teach recycling to all ages. Shawn said, “I love how you’ve considered and implemented three distinct input options, giving the application a really high level of accessibility for users of a wide range of abilities and ages.”
  • The Scratch project Learning Is Fun, made by Mihir Ram in India. Mihir’s project is about making learning about science and the environment more enjoyable. Shawn said, “I got pretty addicted to playing Garbage Mania, and the timing was perfect to make it just stressful enough to have to think and grab the item in the right bin in time before you miss it!”
  • The Advanced Programming project Dog Smell Training Device, made by Roland in the United Kingdom. Roland’s project is designed to train dogs to identify different smells. Shawn said, “Well done on starting with achievable bitesize parts and then building it up from there”.

Richa Shrivastava’s favourites

Richa Shrivastava is the Director of Maker’s Asylum. It is India’s first community makerspace that fosters innovation through purpose-based learning, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Here are Richa’s favourites:

  • The Hardware project EleVoc, made by Chinmayi in India. Chinmayi’s device determines the proximity and behaviour of elephants by classifying their vocalisations. Richa said, “I personally loved the project because it addressed a problem statement that you do not see in cities but is common in villages and forest areas where humans and animals inhabit together.”
  • The Games project Runaway Nose, made by Harshit from a CoderDojo in Ireland. Harshit’s game uses facial recognition and players have to think (and act!) fast to score points. Richa said, “I have never played anything like this before and I can see that it can be really addictive.”
  • The Web project Our Planet, Our Impact, made by Amaury from a CoderDojo in Belgium. This multilingual website calculates the user’s environmental footprint. Richa chose this project because “the calculators were a really cool way to really bring out the impact of plastic waste that we create!”
  • The Mobile Apps project Watey, made by Yuuka, Akari, Otowa, and Lila from a CoderDojo in Japan. Watey helps families to save water easily and enjoyably. Richa said, “I loved the element of family bonding and competition that could motivate people to use water with scarcity.”
  • The Scratch project Nature’s Savior Bilgin, made by Çağatay and Mert from a Code Club in Turkey. It’s a game to teach players about the environment. Richa said, “I personally really loved the fact that the project was focussed on the environment and also problems that we see in real life almost every other day.”
  • The Advanced Programming project Jarvis, made by Siddhant in India. Jarvis is a personal assistant. Richa said, “I always wanted a personal Jarvis and this was so cool to see!” 

Elaine Atherton’s favourites

Elaine Atherton is Director of Scratch Education Collaborative. Elaine was first introduced to Scratch as an instructional coach while working with teachers in North Carolina. “It was amazing to see the kids so excited about what they were creating. I wanted to help them transfer that same energy to designing, making, and sharing other things, too — I wanted them to stretch their creativity.”

Here are Elaine’s favourites:

  • The Hardware project CubeSpeedee Timer, made by Tom from a CoderDojo in the United Kingdom. Tom’s project is a DIY timing device for solving puzzle cubes. Elaine said the project was “fun, playful, creative, and challenging!”
  • The Games project Ninjas, made by Jaiden and Eli from a Code Club in Australia. Ninjas is an open-world action-adventure game. Elaine said, “The transitions between the different worlds are really cool”.
  • The Web project Ubex Site Creator, made by Menagi from a Code Club in Romania. Ubex makes it easy for anyone to create their own website. Elaine said, “It is clear to see how you thought about how to use your passion for coding to create something for your peers.”
  • The Mobile Apps project Green Nature For You, made by Iana and Cristina in Moldova. The app lets users report when trash cans are full. Elaine said, “[Y]ou thoughtfully consider accessibility and access needs of those who may use it”.
  • The Scratch project Fun Relaxing Project, made by Konstantin from a CoderDojo in Bulgaria. Konstantin’s game is to help players relax while watching beautiful geometric shapes and colours. Elaine said, “The colors and patterns are truly relaxing”. 
  • The Advanced Programming project DeepFusion, made by Justin in the United States. DeepFusion is a web app that provides a graphical method for creating, training, and testing neural networks. Elaine said, “Your presentation is funny, thoughtful, and clever.”

Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognition

Broadcom Foundation has partnered with us for Coolest Projects Global to encourage young people who are solving problems that impact their communities. Their projects could relate to health, sanitation, energy, climate change, or other challenges set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Broadcom Coding with Commitment illuminates how coding is a language, skill set, and invaluable tool for college and careers.

The Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognition goes to A Guide to Climate Change, a website created by Sabrina in the United Kingdom. Sabrina’s site not only provides vital information about the effects of climate change, but also gives users a visual to show how important it is to lower our carbon footprint. Congratulations to Sabrina for using her coding skills to give people a guide to understanding climate change in an easily digestible and stylish project webpage.

Sabrina’s project, A Guide to Climate Change

And there’s so much more to celebrate!

You can explore all the young tech creators’ projects — games, hardware builds, Scratch projects, mobile apps, websites, and more — in our showcase gallery now.

All creators who are taking part this year can now log into their Coolest Projects accounts to:

  1. Find personalised feedback on their project
  2. Request their limited-edition Coolest Projects swag

The support of our Coolest Projects Global sponsors has enabled us to make this year’s online showcase the inspiring experience it is for the young people taking part. We want to say a big thank you to all of them!

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Why we translate our free online projects for young people to learn coding

Post Syndicated from Nina Szymor original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/translating-free-coding-computing-resources-improved-educational-social-outcomes/

All young people deserve meaningful opportunities to learn how to create with digital technologies. But according to UNESCO, as much as 40% of people around the world don’t have access to education in a language they speak or understand. At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we offer more than 200 free online projects that people all over the world use to learn about computing, coding, and creating things with digital technologies. To make these projects more accessible, we’ve published over 1700 translated versions so far, in 32 different languages. You can check out these translated resources by visiting projects.raspberrypi.org and choosing your language from the drop-down menu.

Two young children code in Scratch on a laptop.
Two young children in Uganda code on a laptop at a CoderDojo session.

Most of this translation work was completed by an amazing community of volunteer translators. In 2021 alone, learners engaged in more than 570,000 learning experiences in languages other than English using our projects.

So how do we know it’s important to put in the effort to make our projects available in many different languages? Various studies show that learning in one’s first language leads to better educational and social outcomes. 

Improved access and attainment for girls

Education policy specialists Chloe O’Gara and Nancy Kendall describe in a USAID-funded guide document (1996, p. 100) that girls living in multilingual communities are less likely to know the official language of school instruction than boys, because girls’ lives tend to be more restricted to home and family, where they have fewer opportunities to become proficient in a second language. These restrictions limit their access to education, and if they go to school, they are more likely to have a limited understanding of the dominant language, and therefore learn less. Observations in research studies (Hovens, 2002; Benson 2002a, 2002b) suggest that making education available in a local language greatly increases female students’ opportunities for educational access and attainment.

In rural India, a group of girls cluster around a computer.
In rural India, a group of girls cluster around a computer.

Improved self-efficacy

Research studies conducted in Guinea and Senegal (Clemons & Yerende, 2009) suggest that education in a local language, which is more likely to focus on the learner’s circumstances, community, and learning and development needs, increases the learner’s belief in their abilities and skills, compared to education in a dominant language.

young people programming in Scratch on a Raspberry Pi, Co-creation Hub, Nigeria.
Young people program in Scratch on a Raspberry Pi, at Co-creation Hub, Nigeria.

Improved test scores

Learning in a language other than one’s own has a negative effect on learning outcomes, especially for learners living in poverty. For example, a UNESCO-funded case study in Honduras showed that 94% of pupils learned reading skills if their home language was the same as the language of assessment. In contrast, among pupils who spoke a different language at home, this proportion dropped to 62%. Similarly, a UNESCO-funded case study in Guatemala showed that when students were able to learn in a bilingual environment, attendance and promotion rates increased, while rates of repetition and dropout rates decreased. Moreover, students attained higher scores in all subjects and skills, including the mastery of the dominant language (UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, Policy Paper 24, February 2016).

Three teenage girls at a laptop.
Three girls in Brazil code on a laptop in a Code Club session.

Improved acquisition of programming concepts

A survey conducted by a researcher from the University of California San Diego showed that non-native English speakers found it challenging to learn programming languages when the majority of instructional materials and technical communications were only available in English (Guo, 2018). Moreover, a computing education research study of the association between local language use and the rate at which young people learn to program showed that beginners who learned to program in a programming language with keywords and environment localised into their primary language demonstrated new programming concepts at a faster rate, compared with beginners from the same language group who learned using a programming interface in English (Dasgupta & Hill, 2017).

A group of Coolest Projects participants from all over the world wave their flags.

You can help with translations and empower young people

It is clear from these studies that in order to achieve the most impact and to benefit disadvantaged and underserved communities, educational initiatives must work to make learning resources available in the language that learners are most familiar with.

By translating our learning resources, we not only support people who have English as a second language, we also make the resources useful for people who don’t speak any English — estimated as four out of every five people on Earth.

If you’re interested in helping us translate our learning resources, which are completely free, you can find out more at rpf.io/translate.

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Celebrate Scratch Week with us

Post Syndicated from Joanne Vincent original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/scratch-week/

Scratch Week is a global celebration of Scratch that takes place from 15 to 21 May this year. Below, we’ve put together some free resources to help get kids coding with this easy-to-use, block-based programming language. If you’re not sure what Scratch is, check out our introduction video for parents.


Visit Scratch Island on Code Club World

Code Club World is a great place to start coding for children who have never done any coding or programming before. The Code Club World online platform lets them begin their coding journey with fun activities, starting by creating their own personal avatar.

The islands on Code Club World.

Then on Scratch Island, kids can code a game to find a hidden bug, design a fun ‘silly eyes’ app, or animate a story. No experience necessary! We’ve just added a parents’ guide to explain how Code Club World works.

Explore Scratch projects 

For kids who feel ready to move beyond the basics of Scratch this Scratch Week, our Projects site offers a catalogue of projects that further enhance kids’ coding skills as they earn badges and explore, design, and invent.

A platform game your kids can code in Scratch with our project path.

With the More Scratch path, they will create six projects to make apps, games, and simulations using message broadcasting, if..then and if..then..else decisions, and variables. Then with the Further Scratch path, they can explore the advanced features of Scratch in another six projects to use boolean logic, functions, and clones while creating apps, games, computer-generated art, and simulations.

Discover young people’s Scratch creations

Be inspired by the amazing things young tech creators worldwide code in Scratch by visiting the Coolest Projects Global 2022 showcase. Young people are showing off Scratch games, stories, art, and more. In our Coolest Projects online gallery, these creations are displayed amongst hundreds of others from around the world — it’s the ideal place to get inspired.

A young coder shows off her tech project for Coolest Projects to two other young tech creators.

Learn something new with our Introduction to Scratch course 

Are you curious about coding too? If you would like to start learning so you can better help young people with their creative projects, our online course Introduction to Programming with Scratch is perfect for you. It’s available on-demand, so you can join at any time and receive four weeks’ free access (select the ‘limited access’ option when you register). This course is a fun, inspiring, and colourful starting point if you have never tried coding before. 

If you’re a parent looking for more coding activities to share with your kids, you can sign up to our parent-focused newsletter.

We hope you enjoy exploring these resources during Scratch Week. 

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Teaching with Raspberry Pi Pico in the computing classroom

Post Syndicated from Dan Elwick original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-pico-classroom-physical-computing/

Raspberry Pi Pico is a low-cost microcontroller that can be connected to another computer to be programmed using MicroPython. We think it’s a great tool for exploring physical computing in classrooms and coding clubs. Pico has been available since last year, amid school closures, reopenings, isolation periods, and restrictions for students and teachers. Recently, I spoke to some teachers in England about how their reception of Raspberry Pi Pico, and how they have found using it to teach physical computing to their learners.

A student uses a Raspberry Pi Pico in the computing classroom.

This blog post is adapted from issue 18 of Hello World, our free magazine written by computing educators for computing educators.

Extra-curricular engagement

At secondary schools, a key use of Raspberry Pi Pico was in teacher-led lunchtime or after-school clubs. One teacher from a girls’ secondary school in Liverpool described how he introduced it to his Women in Tech club, which he runs for 11- to 12-year-old students for half an hour per week at lunchtime. As this teacher has free reign over the club content and a personal passion for Raspberry Pi, his eventual aim for the club participants was to build a line-following car using Pico.

On a wooden desktop, electronic components, a Raspberry Pi Pico, and a motor next to a keyboard.

The group started by covering the basics of Pico, such as connecting it with a breadboard and making LEDs flash, using our ‘Getting started with Raspberry Pi Pico’ project guide. The teacher described how walking into a room with Picos and physical computing kits grabs students’ attention: “It’s massively more engaging than programming Python on a screen… They love the idea of building something physical, like a car.” He has to remind them that phones aren’t allowed at school, as they’re keen to take photos of the flashing lights to show their parents. His overall verdict? “Once the software had been installed, [Picos are] just plug and play. As a tool in school, it gives you something physical, enthuses interest in the subject. If it gets just one person choosing the subject, who wouldn’t have done otherwise, then job done.”

“If it gets just one person choosing the subject, who wouldn’t have done otherwise, then job done.”

Teacher at a Liverpool girls’ secondary school

Another teacher from a school in Hampshire used Picos at an after-school club with students aged 13 to 15. After about six sessions of less than 50 minutes last term, the students have almost finished building motorised buggies. The first two sessions were spent familiarising students with the Picos, making LEDs flash, and using sensors. In the next four sessions, the students made their way through the Pico-focused physical computing unit from our Teach Computing Curriculum. The students worked in pairs, and initially some learners had trouble getting the motors to turn the wheels on their buggies. Rather than giving them the correct code, the teacher gave them duplicate sets of the hardware and suggested that they test each piece in turn to ‘debug’ the hardware. Thus the students quickly worked out what they needed to do to make the wheels turn.

A soldered Raspberry Pi Pico on a breadboard.

For non-formal learning settings such as computing and coding clubs, we’ve just released a six-project learning path called ‘Introduction to Raspberry Pi Pico’ for beginner digital makers. You can check out the path directly, or learn more about how we’ve designed it to encourage learners’ independence.

Reinforcing existing computing skills

Another key theme that came through in my conversations with teachers was how Raspberry Pi Pico can be used to reinforce learners’ existing computing skills. One teacher I interviewed, from a school in Essex, has been using Picos to teach computing to 12- to 14-year-olds in class, and talked about the potential for physical computing as a pedagogical tool for recapping topics that have been covered before. “If [physical computing] is taught well, it enhances students’ understanding of programming. If they just copy code from the board, it becomes about the kit and not how you solve a problem, it’s not as effective at helping them develop their computational thinking. Teaching Python on Pico really can strengthen existing understanding of using Python libraries and subroutines, as well as passing subroutine arguments.”

“If [physical computing] is taught well, it enhances students’ understanding of programming.”

Teacher at an Essex secondary school

Another teacher I spoke to, working at a Waterlooville school and relatively new to teaching, talked about the benefits of using Pico to teach Python: “It takes some of the anxiety away from computing for some of the younger students and makes them more resilient. They can be wary of making mistakes, and see them as a hurdle, but working towards a tangible output can help some students to see the value of learning through their mistakes.”

Raspberry Pi Pico attached with jumper wires to a purple LED.

This teacher was keen for his students to get a sense of the variety of jobs that are available in the computing sector, and not just in software. He explained how physical computing can demonstrate to students how you can make inputs, outputs, and processing very real: “Give students a Pico and make them thirsty about what they could do with it — the device allows them to interact with it and work out how to bend it to what they want to do. You can be creative in computing without just writing code, you can capture information and output it again in a more useful way.”

“Working towards a tangible output can help some students to see the value of learning through their mistakes.”

Teacher at a Waterlooville school

One of the teachers we spoke to was initially a bit cynical about Pico, but had a much better experience of using it in the classroom than expected: “It’s not such a big progression from block-based microcontrollers to Pico — it could be a good stepping stone between, for example, a micro:bit and a Raspberry Pi computer.”

Why not try out Raspberry Pi Pico in your classroom or club? It might be the engagement booster you’ve been looking for!  

Top teacher tips for activities with Raspberry Pi Pico

  • Prepare to install Thonny (the software we recommend to program Pico) on your school’s or venue’s IT systems, and ask your IT technician for support.
  • It takes time to unpack devices, connect them, and pack them back up again. Build this time into your plan!

Free learning resources for using Raspberry Pi Pico in your classroom or club

Teachers at state schools in England can borrow physical computing kits with class sets of Raspberry Pi Picos from their local Computing Hub. We’ve made these kits available through our work as part of the National Centre for Computing Education. The Pico kit is perfect for teaching the Pico-focused physical computing unit from our Teach Computing Curriculum.

Qualified US-based educators can still get their hands on 1 of 1000 free Raspberry Pi Pico hardware kits if they sign up to our free course Design, build, and code a rover with Raspberry Pi Pico. This course shows you how to introduce Pico in your classroom. We’ve designed the course on the Pathfinders Online Institute platform, specifically for US-based educators, thanks to our partners at Infosys Foundation USA. These Raspberry Pi Pico kits are also available at PiShop.us.

For non-formal learning settings, such as Code Clubs and CoderDojos, we’ve created a six-project learning path: ‘Introduction to Raspberry Pi Pico’. This path is for beginner digital makers to follow and create Pico projects, all the while learning the skills to independently design, code, and build their own projects. All of the components for the path are available as a kit from Pimoroni.

The post Teaching with Raspberry Pi Pico in the computing classroom appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Get kids coding and learning electronics with Raspberry Pi Pico

Post Syndicated from Rebecca Franks original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/kids-coding-electronics-raspberry-pi-pico-free-learning-resource/

Since the release of the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller in 2021, we have seen people all over the world come up with creative Pico-based inventions.

Raspberry Pi Pico with its inbuilt LED blinking.
The Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller.

Now, thanks to our brand-new and free ‘Introduction to Raspberry Pi Pico’ learning path, young coders can easily join in and make their own cool Pico projects! This free learning path has six guided projects to help kids to independently develop their coding skills, and their skills in physical computing and electronics.

A girl creates a physical computing project.
Physical computing is a great way to help young people get creative with coding.

In this post, I’ll tell you about Raspberry Pi Pico, what kids can make by following our free ‘Intro to Pico’ path, and what skills they will be learning.

Meet Raspberry Pi Pico

Raspberry Pi Pico is a physical computing device that is low-cost and easy to use. It’s much smaller than any Raspberry Pi computer, and it needs much less power. That’s because it’s not a full computer but instead a microcontroller. That means Pico is a device that you program by writing code on any computer, and then sending that code to Pico via a USB cable.

Raspberry Pi Pico has GPIO pins (like Raspberry Pi computers do). These pins mean it can interact with different types of physical computing components, such as buttons, buzzers, and LEDs.

In the ‘Intro to Raspberry Pi Pico’ path, we’ve designed new digital making projects specifically using Pico. By following the projects in the path, young people learn to make things with different electronic components. They’ll bring to life their own LED fireflies; they’ll make music with a sound machine and dial (a potentiometer); they’ll look after themselves and people around them by making a mood indicator and a heart rate visualiser. To find out more, visit the path, or scroll to the bottom of this post and click on ‘Details about the projects’.

The specially designed structure of our learning paths helps kids become confident and independent coders and digital makers. Through this project path, we want to show young people what is possible with Raspberry Pi Pico and inspire them to continue their digital making journey beyond the six projects. Seeing tech creations from our amazing community is super special to us, and we would love to hear about what your young coders have made with Pico. Kids can share their projects in the path gallery, or you can tag us on social media if you post photos!   


Learning skills and independence with our project paths 

While young people make all these Raspberry Pi Pico projects, they will learn the skills and independence to make and code their very own, unique creations with a Pico. We have designed our new project paths to help kids become independent digital makers. As they progress through a path, kids gain new skills, practise what they have learnt, and finally write and follow their own project brief. 

Our learning paths help kids develop many of the skills that are important to all coders and digital makers, no matter how much experience they have: 

  • How to turn an idea on paper into a tech creation
  • How to debug a project
  • How to combine new information with what they already know about digital making 

The learning paths also encourage kids to make projects about the things that matter to them.  

Key questions answered

Who is this path for?

We have written the projects in this path with young people around the age of 9 to 13 in mind. 

Programs for Raspberry Pi Pico are written in a text-based language called MicroPython. That means a young person who wants to start the ‘Intro to Pico’ path needs to be familiar with typing on a keyboard.

A young person codes at a Raspberry Pi computer.

If your kid has never coded in a text-based language before, they could complete our free ‘Introduction to Python‘ project path first, but this is not a prerequisite.

What will young people learn?

To help with the programming aspects of the projects, the instructions in the path tell young people about:  

  • Displaying output
  • Arithmetic expressions
  • Importing from a library
  • While loops
  • Nested if statements
  • Defining and calling functions
  • Events
Raspberry Pi Pico attached with jumper wires to a purple LED.
We still get excited by a flashing LED.

One of the great things about this project path is that it helps young people explore physical computing and electronics. In the ‘Intro to Pico’ path, they’ll use:

  • Single-colour LEDs
  • Multi-colour LEDs (so-called RGB LEDs)
  • Buzzers
  • Switches (including switches the kids will make out of craft materials!)
  • Buttons
  • Potentiometers (dials)

How much time is needed to complete the path?

We’ve designed the path to be completed in around six one-hour sessions, with one hour per project. However, the project instructions encourage kids to upgrade their projects and go further if they wish. This means that they might want to spend a little more time getting their projects exactly as they imagine. 

What software is needed for the projects?

Young people need a web browser so they can follow the project instructions. The first two projects in the path provide detailed instructions for how to install the free software needed for the projects. 

The projects in the path show you how to program Raspberry Pi Pico using MicroPython in the Thonny software.

What hardware is needed for these projects?

The first step of each project lists what components are needed to create the project. You can purchase a kit from Kitronik or from Pimoroni that includes all of the components used in the path:

‘Intro to Raspberry Pi Pico’ kit list (click here)

  • 1 × soldered Raspberry Pi Pico
  • 1 × USB cable
  • 1 × red LED
  • 1 × blue LED
  • 2 × yellow LEDs
  • 6 × single-colour LEDs (random)
  • 3 × RGB LEDs
  • 15 × 75 ohm resistors (max 220 ohm)
  • 2 × potentiometers
  • 8 × push buttons (optional, these can be made from crafting materials)
  • 15 × pin–socket jumper wires
  • 38 × socket–socket jumper wires
  • 4 × pin–pin jumper wires

What can young people do next?

Explore Python coding with us 

If your young coders enjoy MicroPython, they’ll also love our Python learning paths: ‘Introduction to Python‘ and More Python‘. Both are structured in the same way as our Pico path, and will help young people learn Python while creating their own visual designs.

A girl points happily at a project on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's projects site.
Details about the projects in ‘Intro to Raspberry Pi Pico’

The ‘Intro to Raspberry Pi Pico’ path is structured according to our Digital Making Framework, with three Explore projects, two Design projects, and a final Invent project. You can also check out our learning graph to see the progression of skills and knowledge throughout the path.

Explore project 1: LED firefly

The ‘LED firefly’ project introduces creators to Raspberry Pi Pico while they make their first project with a blinking LED. They program the LED with a blink pattern that is common to fireflies in the wild. To upgrade their projects, creators can place their LED firefly into a glass jar to create a twinkling effect.  

Explore project 2: Party popper

‘Party popper’ introduces creators to the RGB LED and a buzzer. To form the popper, they craft a pull switch out of kitchen foil and cardboard. When the popper is activated, the RGB LED flashes in their chosen colour, and a ‘tada’ sound plays on the buzzer. 

Explore project 3: Beating heart

‘Beating heart’ uses a potentiometer (dial) to control the pulsing speed of an LED. Creators craft their own hearts using red paper and origami before placing the pulsing LED inside. In this way, they create a model of a heart they can use to learn about medicine or to bring to life a favourite toy. 

Design project 1: Mood indicator

In the ‘Mood indicator’ project, kids use switches and an RGB LED to create a device that can communicate a need or a mood to another person. This Design project gives young creators lots of opportunities to use their new skills to create something personal to them.

Design project 2: Sound machine


‘Sound machine’ is a project for kids to work with the different tones that a buzzer can make. They can use the buzzer to create sound effects, or to recreate their favourite songs. Once they have decided on their sounds, they can think about how a user of their project might choose to play them. 

Invent project: Sensory gadget


This project gives creators that chance to pick their favourite elements of the path to create something totally unique to them. They could make all sorts of sensory gadgets, from a Picosaber to a candle that can be blown out. Creators are encouraged to showcase their creations in the path gallery to give other young makers inspiration. 

The post Get kids coding and learning electronics with Raspberry Pi Pico appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Python coding for kids: Moving beyond the basics

Post Syndicated from Rebecca Franks original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/python-coding-for-kids-beyond-the-basics/

We are excited to announce our second new Python learning path, ‘More Python’, which shows young coders how to add real data to their programs while creating projects from a chart of Olympic medals to an interactive world map. The six guided Python projects in this free learning path are designed to enable young people to independently create their own Python projects about the topics that matter to them.

A girl points excitedly at a project on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's projects site.
Two kids are at a laptop with one of our coding projects.

In this post, we’ll show you how kids use the projects in the ‘More Python’ path, what they can make by following the path, and how the path structure helps them become confident and independent digital makers.

Python coding for kids: Our learning paths

Our ‘Introduction to Python’ learning path is the perfect place to start learning how to use Python, a text-based programming language. When we launched the Intro path in February, we explained why Python is such a popular, useful, and accessible programming language for young people.

Because Python has so much to offer, we have created a second Python path for young people who have learned the basics in the first path. In this new set of six projects, learners will discover new concepts and see how to add different types of real data to their programs.

Illustration of different graph types
By following the ‘More Python’ path, young people learn the skills to independently create a data visualisation for a topic they are passionate about in the final project.

Key questions answered

Who is this path for?

We have written the projects in this path with young people around the age of 10 to 13 in mind. To code in a text-based language, a young person needs to be familiar with using a keyboard, due to the typing involved. Learners should have already completed the ‘Introduction to Python’ project path, as they will build on the learning from that path.

Three young tech creators show off their tech project at Coolest Projects.

How do young people learn with the projects? 

Young people need access to a web browser to complete our project paths. Each project contains step-by-step instructions for learners to follow, and tick boxes to mark when they complete each step. On top of that, the projects have steps for learners to:

  • Reflect on what they have covered in the project
  • Share their projects with others
  • See suggestions to upgrade their projects

Young people also have the option to sign up for an account with us so they can save their progress at any time and collect badges.

A young person codes at a Raspberry Pi computer.

While learners follow the project instructions in this project path, they write their code into Trinket, a free web-based coding platform accessible in a browser. Each project contains a link to a starter Trinket, which includes everything to get started writing Python code — no need to install any additional software.

Screenshot of Python code in the online IDE Trinket.
This is what Python code on Trinket looks like.

If they prefer, however, young people also have the option of instead writing their code in a desktop-based programming environment, such as Thonny, as they work through the projects.

What will young people learn?  

To use data in their Python programs, the project instructions show learners how to:

  • Create and use lists
  • Create and use dictionaries
  • Read data from a data file

The projects support learners as they explore new concepts of digital visual media and: 

  • Create charts using the Python library Pygal
  • Plot pins on a map
  • Create randomised artwork

In each project, learners reflect and answer questions about their work, which is important for connecting the project’s content to their pre-existing knowledge.

In a computing classroom, a girl laughs at what she sees on the screen.

As they work through the projects, learners see different ways to present data and then decide how they want to present their data in the final project in the path. You’ll find out what the projects are on the path page, or at the bottom of this blog post.

The project path helps learners become independent coders and digital makers, as each project contains slightly less support than the one before. You can read about how our project paths are designed to increase young people’s independence, and explore our other free learning paths for young coders

How long will the path take to complete?

We’ve designed the path to be completed in around six one-hour sessions, with one hour per project, at home, in school, or at a coding club. The project instructions encourage learners to add code to upgrade their projects and go further if they wish. This means that young people might want to spend a little more time getting their projects exactly as they imagine them.

In a classroom, a teacher and a student look at a computer screen while the student types on the keyboard.

What can young people do next?

Use Unity to create a 3D world

Unity is a free development environment for creating 3D virtual environments, including games, visual novels, and animations, all with the text-based programming language C#. Our ‘Introduction to Unity’ project path for keen coders shows how to make 3D worlds and games with collectibles, timers, and non-player characters.

Take part in Coolest Projects Global

At the end of the ‘More Python’ path, learners are encouraged to register a project they’ve made using their new coding skills for Coolest Projects Global, our free and world-leading online technology showcase for young tech creators. The project they register will become part of the online gallery, where members of the Coolest Projects community can celebrate each other’s creations.

A young coder shows off her tech project for Coolest Projects to two other young tech creators.

We welcome projects from all young people, whether they are beginners or experienced coders and digital makers. Coolest Projects Global is a unique opportunity for young people to share their ingenuity with the world and with other young people who love coding and creating with digital technology.

Details about the projects in ‘More Python’

The ‘More Python’ path is structured according to our Digital Making Framework, with three Explore project, two Design projects, and a final Invent project.

Explore project 1: Charting champions

Illustration of a fast-moving, smiling robot wearing a champion's rosette.

In this Explore project, learners discover the power of lists in Python by creating an interactive chart of Olympic medals. They learn how to read data from a text file and then present that data as a bar chart.

Explore project 2: Solar system

Illustration of our solar system.

In this Explore project, learners create a simulation of the solar system. They revisit the drawing and animation skills that they learned in the ‘Introduction to Python’ project path to produce animated planets orbiting the sun. The animation is based on real data taken from a data file to simulate the speed that the planets move at as they orbit. The simulation is also interactive, using dictionaries to display data about the planets that have been selected.

Explore project 3: Codebreaker

Illustration of a person thinking about codebreaking.

The final Explore project gets learners to build on their knowledge of lists and dictionaries by creating a program that encodes and decodes a message using an Atbash cipher. The Atbash cipher was originally developed in the Hebrew language. It takes the alphabet and matches it to its reverse order to create a secret message. They also create a script that checks how many times certain letters have been used in an encoded message, so that they can discover patterns.

Design project 1: Encoded art

Illustration of a robot painting a portrait of another robot.

The first Design project allows learners to create fun pieces of artwork by encoding the letters of their name into images, patterns, or drawings. Learners can choose the images that will be produced for each letter, and whether these appear at random or in a geometric pattern.

Learners are encouraged to share their encoded artwork in the community library, where there are lots of fun projects to discover already. In this project, learners apply all of the coding skills and knowledge covered in the Explore projects, including working with dictionaries and lists.

Design project 2: Mapping data

Illustration of a map and a hand of someone marking it with a large pin.

In the next Design project, learners access data from a data file and use it to create location pins on a world map. They have six datasets to choose from, so they can use one that interests them. They can also choose from a variety of maps and design their own pin to truly personalise their projects.

Invent project: Persuasive data presentation

Illustration of different graph types

This project is designed to use all of the skills and knowledge covered in this path, and most of the skills from the ‘Introduction to Python’ path. Learners can choose from eight datasets to create data visualisations. They are also given instructions on how to access and prepare other datasets if they want to visualise data about a different topic.

Once learners have chosen their dataset, they can decide how they want it to be displayed. This could be a chart, a map with pins, or a unique data visualisation. There are lots of example projects to provide inspiration for learners. One of our favourites is the ISS Expedition project, which places flags on the ISS depending on the expedition number you enter.

The post Python coding for kids: Moving beyond the basics appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Three new reasons to register for Coolest Projects Global 2022

Post Syndicated from original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-global-2022-feedback-swag-medals/

Over the last ten years, thousands of young people from all over the world have shared their digital creations at a Coolest Projects event. This year, there are a few brand-new and exciting reasons why young people will want to get involved in Coolest Projects Global online tech showcase and share their tech creations in the online gallery, for the worldwide Coolest Projects community to discover them.

Two teenage girls participating in Coolest Projects shows off their tech project.

Not only will each Coolest Projects Global participant get unique feedback on their project, they’ll also receive a cool piece of limited-edition Coolest Projects swag. And young tech creators have a shot at winning a coveted Coolest Projects medal if their creation is selected as a judges’ favourite. We’ve added all of these new enhancements thanks to the thoughtful feedback we’ve received from participants in previous showcases.

White text on blue background saying New in 2022.

1. Personalised project feedback

Young people who’ve showcased at an in-person Coolest Projects event know how great it is to see how other people react to their project. This year, creators participating in our online showcase will automatically get reactions and feedback from our Coolest Projects staff and partners who are reviewing projects.

A Coolest Projects participant

That means each creator will find out what’s great about their project and how they might be able to improve it. All of this feedback will be shown in the creator’s online account on coolestprojects.org after the celebratory livestream in June.

2. Limited-edition Coolest Projects art

All young creators will also get limited-edition swag: a Coolest Projects poster designed by New York City-based artist Joey Rex. Creators can proudly display this memento of their participation in Coolest Projects Global 2022 on their bedroom wall, and as a digital phone or computer screen background.

An illustration of two young tech creators working on digital projects in a room filled with devices, gadgets, and tools.
The limited-edition Coolest Projects poster designed by Joey Rex.

The poster design was inspired by all the young makers who have participated in Coolest Projects over the last 10 years. It evokes themes of collaboration, invention, and creativity. Here’s what Joey, the artist, had to say about the design:

“This project was really exciting for me to work on, since I love geeking out over tech and building custom electronics, and I’m really grateful to the Coolest Projects team for trusting me with this vision. I hope my design can inspire the creators to keep up the great work and continue bringing their awesome ideas to reality!”

Artist Joey Rex

To claim their printed poster and backgrounds for their digital devices, creators will receive a link via email after the celebratory livestream in June.

3. Custom Coolest Projects medals

And behold, your first look at the Coolest Projects medal:

A Coolest Projects medal.

As you may already know, VIP judges select their favourite projects in each project category. Creators of projects that are selected as favourites will receive this custom die-cast medal to commemorate their unique accomplishment. The medal hangs on a full color Coolest Projects ribbon and would be the coolest addition to any wall or trophy shelf.

Three young tech creators show off their tech project at Coolest Projects.

Creators who want to aim for a medal should keep in mind that judges’ favourite projects are selected based on their complexity, presentation, design, and of course their coolness. See the Coolest Projects FAQs for more information.

White text on blue background saying Get involved.

With all these new enhancements to Coolest Projects Global, there is a multitude of reasons for young tech creators to register a project for the online showcase.

To help young people get involved in Coolest Projects, we have planned a few livestreamed codealong events on our YouTube channel:

  • 26 April at 7pm BST, a good time for creators in Europe
  • 27 April at 7pm EDT, a good time for creators in the Americas

During these livestreams, you’ll also learn about the new project topics we’ve introduced for the online gallery this year. We’ll especially explore the ‘environment’ topic, sponsored by our friends at EPAM and Liberty Global.

More details are coming soon, so be sure to sign up for email updates to be the first to hear them.

That’s all of the latest news about Coolest Projects. Until next time… be cool.

The post Three new reasons to register for Coolest Projects Global 2022 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Share your tech project with the world through Coolest Projects Global 2022

Post Syndicated from original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-global-2022-registration-open/

It’s time for young tech creators to share with the world what they’ve made! Coolest Projects Global 2022 registration is NOW OPEN. Starting today, young people can register their technology creation on the Coolest Projects Global website, where it will be featured in the online showcase gallery for the whole world to see.

Five young coders show off their robotic garden tech project for Coolest Projects.

By registering a tech project, you’ll represent your community, and you’ll get the coolest, limited-edition swag. You may even win a prize and earn the recognition of the special project judges.

What you need to know about Coolest Projects Global

Now in its 10th year, Coolest Projects is all about celebrating young people and what they create with code. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Coolest Projects Global is completely free for all participants around the world, and it’s entirely online.
  • Coolest Projects Global is open to tech creators up to 18 years old, working independently or in teams of up to 5.
  • We welcome creators of all skill levels: this world-leading technology showcase is for young people who are coding their very first project, or who are already experienced, or anything in between.
  • You’re invited to a live online celebration, which we will live-stream in early June — more details to follow.
  • Opening today, project registration stays open until 11 May.
A young coder shows off her tech project tech project for Coolest Projects to two other young tech creators.
  • Projects can be registered in the following categories: Scratch, games, web, mobile apps, hardware, and advanced programming.
  • Judges will evaluate projects based on their coolness, complexity, design, usability, and presentation.

Why Coolest Projects Global is so cool

Here are just a few of the reasons why young tech creators should register their project for the Coolest Projects Global showcase:

  • Share your project with the world. Coolest Projects Global is the world’s leading technology showcase for young people, and it’s your chance to shine on the global stage.
  • Get feedback on your project. A great team of judges will check out your project and give you feedback, which will land in your inbox after registration closes.
  • Earn some swag. Every creator who registers a project will be eligible to receive some limited-edition digital or physical swag. Pssst… Check out the sneak peek below.
  • Win a prize. Creators of projects that are selected as the judges’ favourites in the six showcase categories will receive a Coolest Projects medal to commemorate their accomplishment. The judges’ favourites will be announced at our live online celebration in June.
Two young coders work on their tech project on a laptop to control a sewing machine for Coolest Projects.

If you don’t have a tech project or an idea for one yet, you’ve got plenty of time to imagine and create, and we’re here to support you. Check out our guides to designing and building a tech creation — one that you’ll be proud to share with the Coolest Projects community in the online showcase gallery. And there’s no shortage of inspiration among the projects that young tech creators shared in last year’s showcase gallery.

Four young coders show off their tech project for Coolest Projects.

We have a lot more exciting stuff to share about Coolest Projects Global in the coming months, so be sure to subscribe for email updates. Until next time… be cool, creators!

A hint at the swag Coolest Projects Global participants will receive 👀

The post Share your tech project with the world through Coolest Projects Global 2022 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Coding for kids: Art, games, and animations with our new beginners’ Python path

Post Syndicated from Rebecca Franks original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coding-for-kids-art-games-animations-beginners-python-programming/

Python is a programming language that’s popular with learners and educators in clubs and schools. It also is widely used by professional programmers, particularly in the data science field. Many educators and young people like how similar the Python syntax is to the English language.

Two girls code together at a computer.

That’s why Python is often the first text-based language that young people learn to program in. The familiar syntax can lower the barrier to taking the first steps away from a block-based programming environment, such as Scratch.

In 2021, Python ranked in first place in an industry-standard popularity index of a major software quality assessment company, confirming its favoured position in software engineering. Python is, for example, championed by Google and used in many of its applications.

Coding for kids in Python

Python’s popularity means there are many excellent resources for learning this language. These resources often focus on creating programs that produce text outputs. We wanted to do something different.

Two young people code at laptops.

Our new ‘Introduction to Python’ project path focuses on creating digital visuals using the Python p5 library. This library is like a set of tools that allows you to get creative by using Python code to draw shapes, edit images, and create frame-by-frame animations. That makes it the perfect choice for young learners: they can develop their knowledge and skills in Python programming while creating cool visuals that they’ll be proud of. 

What is in the ‘Introduction to Python’ path?

The ‘Introduction to Python’ project path is designed according to our Digital Making Framework, encouraging learners to become independent coders and digital makers by gently removing scaffolding as they progress along the projects in a path. Paths begin with three Explore projects, in which learners are guided through tasks that introduce them to new coding skills. Next, learners complete two Design projects. Here, they are encouraged to practise their skills and bring in their own interests to personalise their coding creations. Finally, learners complete one Invent project. This is where they put everything that they have learned together and create something unique that matters to them.

Emoji, archery, rockets, art, and movement are all part of this Python path.

The structure of our Digital Making Framework means that learners experience the structured development process of a coding project and learn how to turn their ideas into reality. The Framework also supports with finding errors in their code (debugging), showing them that errors are a part of computer programming and just temporary setbacks that you can overcome. 

What coding skills and knowledge will young people learn?

The Explore projects are where the initial learning takes place. The key programming concepts covered in this path are:

  • Variables
  • Performing calculations with variables
  • Using functions
  • Using selection (if, elif and else)
  • Using repetition (for loops)
  • Using randomisation
  • Importing from libraries

Learners also explore aspects of digital visual media concepts:

  • Coordinates
  • RGB colours
  • Screen size
  • Layers
  • Frames and animation

Learners then develop these skills and knowledge by putting them into practice in the Design and Invent projects, where they add in their own ideas and creativity. 

Explore project 1: Hello world emoji

In the first Explore project of this path, learners create an interactive program that uses emoji characters as the visual element.


This is the first step into Python and gets learners used to the syntax for printing text, using variables, and defining functions.

Explore project 2: Target practice

In this Explore project, learners create an archery game. They are introduced to the p5 library, which they use to draw an archery board and create the arrows.


The new programming concept covered in this project is selection, where learners use if, elif and else to allocate points for the game.

Explore project 3: Rocket launch

The final Explore project gets learners to animate a rocket launching into space. They create an interactive animation where the user is asked to enter an amount of fuel for the rocket launch. The animation then shows if the fuel is enough to get the rocket into orbit.


The new programming concept covered here is repetition. Learners use for loops to animate smoke coming from the exhaust of the rocket.

Design project 1: Make a face

The first Design project allows learners to unleash their creativity by drawing a face using the Python coding skills that they have built in the Explore projects. They have full control of the design for their face and can explore three examples for inspiration.


Learners are also encouraged to share their drawings in the community library, where there are lots of fun projects to discover already. In this project, learners apply all of the coding skills and knowledge covered in the Explore projects, including selection, repetition, and variables.

Design project 2: Don’t collide!

In the second Design project, learners code a scrolling game called ‘Don’t collide’, where a character or vehicle moves down the screen while having to avoid obstacles.


Learners can choose their own theme for the game, and decide what will move down the screen and what the obstacles will look like. In this project, they also get to practice everything they learned in the Explore projects. 

Invent project: Powerful patterns

This project is the ultimate chance for learners to put all of their skills and knowledge into practice and get creative. They design their own unique patterns and create frame-by-frame animations.


The Invent project offers ingredients, which are short reminders of all the key skills that learners have gained while completing the previous projects in the path. The ingredients encourage them to be independent whilst also supporting them with code snippets to help them along.

Key questions answered

Who is the Introduction to Python path for?

We have written the projects in the path with young people around the age of 9 to 13 in mind. To code in a text-based language, a young person needs to be familiar with using a keyboard, due to the typing involved. A learner may have completed one of our Scratch paths prior to this one, but this isn’t essential. and we encourage beginner coders to take this path first if that is their choice.

A young person codes at a Raspberry Pi computer.

What software do learners need to code these projects?

A web browser. In every project, starter code is provided in a free web-based development environment called Trinket, where learners add their own code. The starter Trinkets include everything that learners need to use Python and access the p5 library.

If preferred, the projects also include instructions for using a desktop-based programming environment, such as Thonny.

How long will the path take to complete?

We’ve designed the path to be completed in around six one-hour sessions, with one hour per project. However, the project instructions encourage learners to upgrade their projects and go further if they wish. This means that young people might want to spend a little more time getting their projects exactly as they imagine them. 

What can young people do next after completing this path?

Taking part in Coolest Projects Global

At the end of the path, learners are encouraged to register a project they’re making with their new coding skills for Coolest Projects Global, our world-leading online technology showcase for young people.

Three young tech creators show off their tech project at Coolest Projects.

Taking part is free, all online, and beginners as well as more experienced young tech creators are welcome and invited. This is their unique opportunity to share their ingenuity in an online gallery for the world and the Coolest Projects community to celebrate.

Coding more Python projects with us

Coming very soon is our ‘More Python’ path. In this path, learners will move beyond the basics they learned in Introduction to Python. They will learn how to use lists, dictionaries, and files to create charts, models, and artwork. Keep your eye on our blog and social media for the release of ‘More Python’.

The post Coding for kids: Art, games, and animations with our new beginners’ Python path appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Get an easy start to coding with our new free online course

Post Syndicated from Michael Conterio original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-to-code-new-free-online-course-scratch-programming/

Are you curious about coding and computer programming but don’t know how to begin? Do you want to help your children at home, or learners in your school, with their digital skills, but you’re not very confident yet? Then our new, free, and on-demand online course Introduction to Programming with Scratch course is a fun, creative, and colourful starting point for you.

An illustration of Scratch coding.

Being able to code can help you do lots of things — from expressing yourself to helping others practice their skills, and from highlighting real-world issues to controlling a robot. Whether you want to get a taste of what coding is about, or you want to learn so that you can support young people, our Introduction to Programming with Scratch course is the perfect place to start if you’ve never tried any coding before.

Scratch course presenters Vasu and Mark.
Your course presenters, Vasu and Mark.

On this on-demand course, Mark and Vasu from our team will help you take your very first steps on your programming journey. 

You can code — we’ll show you how

On the course, you’ll use the programming language Scratch, a beginner-friendly, visual programming language particularly suitable for creating animations and games. All you need is our course and a computer or tablet with a web browser and internet connection that can access the online Scratch editor.

You can code in Scratch without having to memorise and type in commands. Instead, by snapping blocks together, you’ll take control of ‘sprites’, which are characters and objects on the screen that you can move around with the code you create.

A video of what Scratch coding looks like.
This is how you build Scratch programs.

As well as learning what you can do with Scratch, you’ll be learning basic programming concepts that are the same for all programming languages. You’ll see how the order of commands is important (sequencing), you’ll make the computer repeat actions (repetition), and you’ll write programs that do different things in different circumstances, for example responding to your user’s actions (selection). Later on, you’ll also make your own reusable code blocks (abstraction).

You can create your own programs and share them

Throughout the course you’ll learn to make your own programs step by step. In the final week, Mark and Vasu will show you how you can create musical projects and interact with your program using a webcam.

A Scratch coding project.
By the end of the course, you will create a program to control a Scratch character using your live webcam video.

Vasu and Mark will encourage you to share your programs and join the Scratch online community. You will discover how you can explore other people’s Scratch programs for inspiration and support, and how to build on the code they’ve created.

A Scratch coding project.
Thousands of people share their projects in the Scratch online community — you could be one of them.

Sign up for the course now!

The course starts for the first time on Monday 14 February, but it is available on demand, so you can join it at any time. You’ll get four weeks’ access to the course no matter when you sign up.

For the first four weeks that the course is available, and every three months after that, people from our team will join in to support you and help answer your questions in the comments sections.

If you’re a teacher in England, get free extended access by signing up through Teach Computing here.

And if you want to do more Scratch coding…

You can find more free resources here! These are the newest Scratch pathways on our project site, which you can also share with the young people in your life:

The post Get an easy start to coding with our new free online course appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Calling all young creators: Get ready for Coolest Projects Global 2022

Post Syndicated from original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coolest-projects-2022-tech-showcase-get-ready/

It’s time to start your countdown! Young people from all over the world will soon be invited to share their digital creations at Coolest Projects Global 2022, our world-leading online technology showcase event for young creators. In mid-February, project registration opens for a new and improved, online-only experience.

A group of young women present a robot buggy they have built.

Through Coolest Projects Global, young creators can register their digital projects to share them with the world, represent their country, get some free swag, and maybe even win recognition from our special judges. And the best thing: Coolest Projects participants join a global community of awesome young tech creators who celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

A group of Coolest Projects participants from all over the world wave their flags.

Here’s what you should know about Coolest Projects Global

  • Coolest Projects Global is free and open to young creators up to 18 years old, working independently or in teams of up to 5 creators.
  • Creators of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Coolest Projects is for young people who are beginners, or advanced, or anything in between.
  • Project registration opens on 14 February and stays open until 11 May.
A girl presenting a digital making project
  • Projects can be registered in the following categories: Scratch, games, web, mobile apps, hardware, and advanced programming.
  • Judges will evaluate projects based on their coolness, complexity, design, usability, and presentation.
  • Coolest Projects Global is a completely free event for all participants, and it’s entirely online.

What’s new in 2022?

Coolest Projects is celebrating its TENTH YEAR of shining a light on young creators, so we have an extra special showcase lined up in 2022. All of these enhancements are the result of incredibly helpful feedback that past creators have shared. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can look forward to:

  • Creators will receive project feedback from the judges after the celebration event in June. The celebration will be streamed live online in early June. Stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer.
  • Creators will be eligible to receive limited-edition digital and physical swag.
  • Creators will be able to categorise their project into topics such as health, environment, community, art, and more.
  • Creators who have projects selected as favourites by the special judges will receive a commemorative medal.
Two siblings presenting their digital making project at a Coolest Projects showcase

What do young people say is so cool about Coolest Projects?

We asked past creators what they think makes Coolest Projects so cool, and here’s what they had to say:

  • “The freedom we had to create whatever we want!”
  • “We can get inspiration from sharing our ideas about real-life situations.”
  • “Seeing all the different ideas people had and how they went about doing their projects.”
  • “The opportunity to let the creativity flow and participate at a global level.”

Last year, creators showcased all kinds of projects, such as an earthquake early warning device, a fun math game made with Scratch, a squirrel detection system, and a website about cybersecurity. Don’t forget, Coolest Projects is for creators who are beginners, advanced, and everything in between.

A boy participating in Coolest Projects shows off his tech project together with an adult.

Next steps

Project registration opens on 14 February, but creators can start making their projects now. For inspiration, check out last year’s project gallery and then sign up to receive email updates so that you don’t miss a thing about Coolest Projects. We have many more exciting details coming in the next weeks and months, so stay tuned.

Until next time… be cool, creators.

The post Calling all young creators: Get ready for Coolest Projects Global 2022 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.