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.

Five things to get excited about with Code Club in 2020

We asked Lucia Manzitti, Head of Code Club UK, to tell us five things that she is excited about Code Club in 2020! 

It’s a great mix of opportunities for young learners, skill development for volunteers and educators, and the new Code Club book of Scratch… yes, a new book! 

1. Coolest Projects is back! 

Coolest Projects, the world’s leading technology fair for young people is back for 2020! It is one of our favourite events to attend, we love meeting the Code Club community and marvelling at the amazing digital making skills on show! 

Coolest Projects recognises the effort and creativity of young digital makers who take an idea and make it a reality. Join us and share your Scratch animation, website, game, robot, or anything else you’ve built with technology.

Register your project or idea today! 

2. Send your code to space 

I’d love to be a child again so I could take part in the  European Astro Pi Challenge and have my code run on the International Space Station! 

The mission is open to young people aged 14 and under in Code Clubs in ESA Member States, and in Slovenia, Canada, and Malta.

To take part in Astro Pi: Mission Zero and have your code run on the International Space Station, members have to write a simple Python program; use a step-by-step project guide to take a measurement of the temperature and display a message to the astronauts aboard. 

You have until Friday 20 March to complete the challenge!

3. New year, new skills! 

I have set myself the New Year’s resolution to develop my computer science skills. I will be looking at the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s 25 FREE courses on FutureLearn to inspire my learning, from an introduction to Python, and how computers work, to share a few. 

Join me and find a course that suits you

Code Club meetup at the Raspberry Pi store in Cambridge

4. The results are in… well nearly! 

At the end of 2019 we ran our global Code Club survey. Thank you to the 1423 Code Clubs from around the world who took part and shared their feedback. 

Over the coming months, I will be working with the team to review the feedback and look at how we can make Code Club even better for you! I look forward to sharing this with you. 

5. #MyCodeClub 

We love to hear about your Code Club projects and to celebrate your work, we’re introducing a new hashtag #MyCodeClub! We’d love to see you use this when you share anything about your club on social media. 

You can follow Code Club UK and Code Club International on Twitter — make sure you tag us in your posts! 

If we especially enjoy your post, we may even send you some swag!

Along with launching #MyCodeClub, we will be running more exciting global competitions, developing new resources to support your club, and launching the new Code Club book of Scratch later this year! 

If you’re in the UK, USA, or the Republic of Ireland, head to codeclub.org to find out how you get involved with Code Club in your community. If you’re based in the rest of the world, visit codeclubworld.org to learn more.