If you start in London and walk 6,073 miles east, where does it take you? The answer, Delhi!

In January, members from the Code Club UK and Ireland team set themselves the challenge to walk the distance from London to Delhi to virtually meet Code Club India colleagues, Vasu and Divya. 

We have reached the halfway point, and it’s time to celebrate the amazing clubs we’ve caught up with along the way! 

The team on their walks
The virtual walking route!

First stop, London: Over half of the London Underground runs above ground 

Olivia is a Code Club leader at Peckham Library, and we asked her to share a highlight from the past year: 

“This term, we have started to experiment with allowing some of the students to teach a session. It has been incredible to see the students, who are only 10 to 12 years old, take on ownership of the class, lead the session, and take questions from their peers.”

Theo, a member from the club also registered his project Bookwriggle, a book recommendation website, in this year’s Coolest Projects showcase, and it was selected as a judge’s favourite! Go, Theo! 

Bookwiggle website designed by Theo

Second stop, Graz: The Austrian national flag is one of the oldest in the world

Whilst virtually walking through Graz, in Austria, we caught up with Günter Nimmerfall, who runs a Code Club at MS Schulzentrum Hall. 

Gunter shares why Code Club suits his school: 

“We are a secondary school with two focuses: languages (Italian) and STEM education. Code Club is perfect; it gives learners the chance to experience coding and creating (3D printing, 3D modelling).We love to show our learners how to code games.

It’s very nice to code some retro games like Flappy bird or racing games like the Boat race, which can be done at the learner’s pace.”

Third stop, Tuzla: The heart-shaped land of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Two boys, both named Haris, attend Code Clubs in the city of Tuzla, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the country is nicknamed the ‘Heart-Shaped Land’, we asked them to share why they love Code Club! 

“I love Code Club because we all have the superpower to create and shape the present, and change the future. In our Code Club, not only do we learn how to code, but we also learn to think and cooperate with our fellow students.

Each one of us has certain talents and knowledge that we can use, and together as a team we reach solutions.”

Haris, from Mejdan school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“I love Code Club because I love to code and I love challenges, and each new project is a challenge for me. I love to work on projects since then my creativity, maths, and IT skills develop.

Coding gives me opportunities to make life easier through technology for every person.”

Haris, from OŠ “Kreka” school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fourth stop, Bulgaria: One of the oldest European countries, established in 681 AD

Alexander, Anton, and Victor are seventh graders who attend Code Club Bulgaria; they entered this year’s Coolest Projects showcase with their creation ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

They were inspired by the arcade game Asteroids, which they said was “one of the most amazing video games in the early history of video games”. They created their remake in Scratch with a new design and functions — in their game, you can gain extra firepower by achieving different targets! 

ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

Josh Hellier, Global Community Coordinator, had a go at the game:

It was so much fun. They’ve done an amazing job of recreating this classic 1979 game! It’s clear they worked brilliantly as a team and supported each other in learning new skills to realise their vision. Well done! 

Celebrate your achievements with the Code Club team by sharing them on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World using the hashtag #MyCodeClub! 

Club leaders’ quick-fire guide to Coolest Projects!

Coolest Projects online is just around the corner and there’s still time for your Code Club members to go on an adventure with code and share their COOL ideas with the world! 

We want to make sure you have all the support you need to help your coders make their ideas a reality! To help, we called in our friends to share their advice, from getting started with an idea, to testing and reviewing a finished creation. 

Let’s break it down  

Members in your Code Club have developed a super COOL idea, and now they’re ready to start to bring them to life. Raspberry Pi Senior Learning Manager, Allen Heard, shares his advice to help coders break down their idea and get started! 

Test and test again 

Testing your project is a vital step in the coding process. Rohima Crook, Programme Manager for Code Club, talks through ideas to support your curious-coders to test their projects. She encourages members to collaborate with friends and family and to gather feedback on their project. 

There’s a bug in my code! 

During your coders’ testing phase, they may come across a bug! Mark Calleja, Youth Programmes Manager, is here to help your coders use their problem-solving skills to find and fix bugs in their programs.  

Code Club has a helpful debugging poster to guide coders through the different steps. If you’re based in the UK, the USA, or Ireland, head to your dashboard to download. For the rest of the world, you can access the resource via our Code Club international website

Time to review 

Stepping back and reviewing your projects is an important detail in taking part in Coolest Projects. Kevin Johnson, North America Program Coordinator, shares his helpful suggestions on the different ways you can support coders to review their project and ensure it meets their initial design brief.

Alongside these bitesize tips, the Coolest Projects team have a host of FREE resources you can use to help your club members take part in this global showcase

Join the global showcase

We’ve seen 39 countries register their COOL ideas for this year’s Coolest Projects online showcase. Young creators have until 3 May to submit their creations and if you need further support, check out the FAQs or send an email to hello@coolestprojects.org

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.