How online Coolest Projects events are making a difference to digital makers around the world. 

Coolest Projects 2021 idea registration is officially open! The online showcase brings together a global community of young digital makers to showcase their tech creations with the world. 

Josh, our Global Community Coordinator, celebrates how two international partners ran online Coolest Projects events in 2020. He hopes this will inspire your CoderDojos to enter their COOL tech ideas to this year’s Coolest Projects online showcase!  

Bringing ideas together with Penang Science Cluster: Malaysia

In 2020, Penang Science Cluster did something really special: they ran a Coolest Projects online event across all of Malaysia and Vietnam. 

The team had a whopping 151 project submissions from a colossal 320 learners across 14 states in Malaysia and Vietnam! Not only that, but they received over 20,000 public votes for the shortlisted projects!

Because it was an online event, Vi Tien Dat — a young digital maker who has cancer and is housebound in rural Vietnam — was able to take part. 

His project ‘Radio for communicating with communities’ was inspired by his own personal situation. Take a look at Vi Tien Dat’s exceptional entry

His teacher said: 

Vi Tien Dat is a strong boy in my team. He lives in Hoa Binh Province, Viet Nam. Although he has cancer, he still studies hard. As a result, he can do it. Thanks Coolest Project Malaysia for giving us a chance.” 

Well done to Aimy and her team at Penang Science Cluster for making this event such an enormous success and an unforgettable opportunity for young people like Vi Tien Dat.

A dazzling showcase in Belgium! 

Coolest Projects in Belgium has been running the event for the last five years in the Technopolis arena (look them up, they have dinosaurs!). In 2020, for their big five-year celebration, they moved the WHOLE event online. 

The online showcase created a dazzling display of 32 impressive projects from 46 brilliant Belgian young creators, which included 28 Dutch, 3 French, and 1 English project.

Local celebrities supported the online showcase, including comedian and enthusiastic maker Henk Rijckaert; ICT Woman of the Year, Dewi Van De Vyver; and Young ICT Lady of the Year 2014, Wendy Vermoesen. They talked to the young makers about their projects and what it means to make digital making your full-time job! 

The team had this to say: 

“I think it’s exactly that level of accessibility that makes Coolest Projects so cool. Everyone is welcome, all that matters is your enthusiasm and your idea and not so much the complexity or a high-level explanation. It’s about inspiring kids to use the ability they have and put it into their own creative idea, for the world to see. [It’s] mind-blowing to see what solutions they come up with, and how people-oriented a lot of the ideas are, to help others make life easier.”

One project that really impressed me was Water Maker’ by Salomé Mehta, which seeks to help the millions of people around the world who do not have access to clean drinking water. 

The event will be run online again this year with the ambition to reach an even bigger audience. Well done to the whole Belgian team! 

Idea registration is now open for Coolest Projects! Invite your CoderDojo members to get creative and take part in Coolest Projects 2021.   

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