Grandparents know best! Learn what inspired Bhakti’s Coolest Projects idea.

Coolest Projects ignites curiosity and creativity amongst young coders from across the globe. 

In 2020, coding superstar Bhakti (13) from Pune, India, entered Coolest Projects. She shares with us her first-hand experience of creating her Scratch game ‘Save Animals’.

Gaining real-life skills

Bhakti (13), lives in Pune, India and regularly attends her school’s Code Club supported by the Pi Jam Foundation. Bhakti is new to coding and when she learned about Coolest Projects from her teacher, she saw it as an exciting opportunity to develop her coding skills. 

I never knew that we could do so much with computers apart from emails and playing games. I never knew that I could make my own game.

That was very powerful for me. I found programming to be so much fun and that I was gaining a real-life skill, which will help me and my family in the future.”

Grandparents inspire an idea!  

Bhakti’s grandparents regularly told her stories of the local area around Pune being densely populated with trees and animals, with the community growing and selling their own vegetables. 

During her lifetime, this was something that Bhakti had never experienced. She had witnessed the impact of hunting and how the consequences of this practice had changed the area and the animals that live there. 

The increase in hunting in her region was the inspiration for Bhakti’s 2020 Coolest Projects entry. She wanted to raise awareness of hunting and created a Scratch game called ‘Save Animals’, where players can protect animals by stopping hunters.   

Screenshot of Bhakti's Scratch project.
Blue sky, green hedges and a hunter firing a gun into the sky.

Designing a game on a mobile device

‘Save Animals’ was fully designed and coded on Bhakti’s father’s mobile. This presented several challenges, from access, to time on the phone, and not having enough ‘hunter’ themed sprites in Scratch! 

Bhakti nearly gave up, but her grandma encouraged her to continue and even helped with her idea creation. 

A GIF of a forest setting with wild animals moving across the page and hunters shooting at them.

Bhakti’s three tips on taking part in Coolest Projects

  1. Don’t overthink — plan and execute! 
  1. Share your ideas with your teacher or parent, they can help you find ways to solve the problems you encounter. 
  1. Participation is more important than asking yourself “whether I can do this or not?”.  

Proud to be part of a global showcase

Bhakti was proud to be part of Coolest Projects, along with other young creators around the globe.  

“I never imagined that I could be part of a global challenge. My school teachers were very proud of me, it did take some time to explain to my parents the importance of challenges like these, which gives global exposure to kids my age.

I am glad I convinced my dad to share his phone with me!”

Bhakti loved being involved with Coolest Projects, so much that she’s participating again this year, to develop her coding skills even further.

Good luck to Bhakti and to all other young creators working on their Coolest Projects ideas!

Join Bhakti in Coolest Projects 2021! 

Idea registration is now open for Coolest Projects! Wherever you are in the world, invite your Code Club members to get creative and take part in this global technology showcase. We can’t wait to see the amazing things they create.

Coding through science — how Code Club India is supporting young coders

The team at Code Club India are always working on new ways to make coding accessible and relevant for students and educators in India. 

Vasu shares how Code Club is helping to enrich the New Education Policy with their new ‘Learn coding through science’ resource, which was designed to support cross-curricular links for educators and students. 

New Education Policy 

After 34 years, the Ministry of Education in India has introduced the New Education Policy (NEP), which aims to break from traditional teaching approaches to provide a comprehensive programme of learning for students across India. 

The NEP will set up classes on coding for students from Grade 6 onwards, allowing students to develop their coding skills and learn about advanced technologies.

Vasu, Club Programme Coordinator, said:

“We are excited that this development will provide students across India with greater flexibility in their learning, as well as the opportunity to develop their skills for the future. So we asked ourselves — how could Code Club best support the NEP?”

Linking coding to the curriculum

At Code Club, we work with schools across India to support young people to learn to code. To help our club leaders and students, we created a resource that links the topics in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) science curriculum to projects in different programming languages like Scratch, HTML, Python, and more.

You can use these resources in a variety of ways. For example, if you are an educator who would like to know if there is a coding project that is directly relevant to your student’s schoolwork, this is a great resource to try in your classroom. Or if you are a student who is interested in exploring both science and computer science, this resource is perfect for you! Use this resource to experiment and explore computer science while following the instructions on the projects. You can also make it more exciting by trying the projects at different levels!

The resource has been shared with our existing Code Club community members, who were asked for their feedback. From the responses we’ve received, it’s clear that the community has been wanting a resource like this and that it has helped them to explore cross-curricular links further. 

How you can help

If you run a Code Club in India, try our ‘Learning coding through science’ resource with one of our  FREE coding projects and share how you got on in our feedback form. Your feedback is key to help us improve and offer the resources you need.  

Want to find out more about Code Club in India? Contact Divya and Vasu, who are always happy to chat to you about the Code Club community in India.

Thinking creatively to give children in India meaningful learning opportunities at home

Pi Jam Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in India, equipping students and educators with tools to learn and create with technology. Pi Jam has been committed to ensuring that learning continues during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We want to share some of the amazing work that Pi Jam has done to support young coders and volunteers. 

Connecting with WhatsApp 

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the digital divide more than ever. Pi Jam started to think about how they could still provide a learning experience for their Code Club members who were now learning from home, often with limited connectivity and hardware.  

Pi Jam decided to send computer science videos and worksheets of unplugged activities through WhatsApp! The response from Code Club members was amazing, and you can see some of the projects they completed (in Telugu) in the image below. 

“While there are a lot of high-quality unplugged resources, we realised the need for making contextual content relevant to the needs of the students we work with. Hence we started creating unplugged content in-house so that students have a seamless learning experience.”

– Pranjali, Pi Jam Foundation

Doorstep learning 

Yashoda, a Pi Jam instructor and Code Club volunteer who lives in rural Parbhani, Maharashtra, found curious students showing up at her door wanting to learn! Yashoda wanted to keep teaching her students, and following the local public health guidelines on social distancing, she started to teach in small groups, using a basic Raspberry Pi setup. 

Yashoda supporting young learners

Pi Jam had this to say about Yashoda: 

“We are proud to work with Yashoda, who has evidently not seen her context as a limitation, using this opportunity to innovate her instruction in a way that makes her budding problem-solver students proud.”

Pi Lab goes live! 

Pi Jam Foundation runs a programme called Pi Lab, and the team has been providing live online computer science sessions for students from various partner schools (government and low-income schools) in Pune, Maharashtra. The students who have joined this online learning experience are aged 10 to 14 and had previously attended a face-to-face Code Club before social distancing measures were introduced.

Pi Lab said this about the sessions: 

“For most of the students in these sessions, it was their first-ever experience with creating using computing skills, and it has been incredible to witness and encourage their inquisitive minds.” 

Stay connected 

The work of Pi Jam Foundation is just one inspiring example of how Code Clubs across the world are staying connected with their members during these extraordinary times. Share with us how you have been staying in contact with your Code Club on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World and use the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

Want to find out more about Code Club in India? Contact Divya and Vasu, who are happy to chat with you about the Code Club community in India.