Coolest Projects: Amy and her mission to save the bees!

At the CoderDojo Foundation, we are continuing to share inspiring stories from participants of the Coolest Projects showcase last year: we’ve been lucky to hear from Amy, who attended the event with her project Amy’s Buzzy Hive. Amy has kindly shared with us her experience, including how she came up with the idea for her innovative project, and what it was like to showcase it.

Amy’s Buzzy Hive, her idea, and how she tested it out!

Amy is a Ninja at Dunlavin Dojo in Wicklow, Ireland, and was 12 years old at the time of Coolest Projects 2017. Her project Amy’s Buzzy Hive was centred around saving the bee population, and involved placing a Raspberry Pi with multiple sensors inside a beehive in order to track bee numbers and identify causes for their decline. She came up with the idea for this innovative method out of concern for diminishing bee numbers and how this impacts the global food supply, telling us: “Malvina, one of our mentors, said ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do something to help the environment?’ Another mentor keeps bees and said that the bee population is in danger (and that means no honey!!), so I decided to do a project on a way to maybe find out why.”

Amy had quite an adventure when prototyping her project, as she needed to test her idea amongst live bees! Fortunately one of her mentors, Padraig,  had a portable beehive, where she was able to test the Raspberry Pi and sensors.  Amy also had the opportunity to use an innovative piece of technology in the process: “I used software developed in America, and I was the first person in Ireland to apply it!” And the adventure continued: “Putting the bees into the hive, Padraig got stung once or twice, and a few nights before Coolest Projects, a few bees got loose in my house!!”  

If like Amy you have an idea for an awesome project, you can plan and design your idea using our idea generation and design worksheets to get started!

Amy’s experience at Coolest Projects 2017

Amy’s innovative ideas, hard work, and thorough prototyping paid off, opening the door to Coolest Projects 2017, where she was able to showcase her fantastic project. Amy particularly enjoyed the social aspect of the event, meeting coders from all over the world, including some prominent role models and well-known community members: “I’m so happy to have met Philip Colligan, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation; Tiera Guinn, a NASA rocket scientist; and James Whelton, Co-Founder of CoderDojo.”

For her creativity and contribution to such a worthy environmental mission, Amy was awarded with the runner-up prize in the Future Makers category, which focuses on projects that positively explore ethical and social causes.

Amy’s advice to anyone thinking of attending Coolest Projects 2018: “have fun and enjoy it, and be inspired by the diverse and creative atmosphere that is all around!”

Register your Coolest Projects idea

If you have been inspired by Amy and have a project idea that you are working on at your Dojo or Raspberry Pi initiative, make sure to register your project for Coolest Projects International on 26 May here. This year, Coolest Projects is also coming to London for an exciting UK event on 28 April, for which you can register here. For both events, the closing date for registrations is 25 March 2018 — we are looking forward to receiving your ideas!

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