While many in-person events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, creativity cannot be stifled. Collaborating to share knowledge and solve problems can still be at the heart of virtual interactions and gatherings. That’s why the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world, quickly transitioned their plans for their Coolest Projects technology fair to a virtual showcase this year. Typically, a one-day, in-person experience, this year’s Coolest Projects initiative will be open for submissions throughout the month of June to give young technologists and visionaries from around the world an opportunity to share their creations.
EPAM, Liberty Global and Virgin Media Join Forces to Support the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Coolest Projects Online Showcase
As businesses that value technology education as a means of self-expression and advancement, EPAM, Liberty Global—one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communication companies—and Virgin Media—the leading connected entertainment cable and broadcast business in Ireland—are proud to partner jointly support the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Coolest Projects online showcase.
“We are thrilled to assist the Raspberry Pi Foundation in its endeavors to bring young people together to connect and share their ideas and creations,” said Shamilka Samarasinha, Global Head of CSR, EPAM. “We are even more thrilled to support the foundation alongside two of our customers, Liberty Global and Virgin Media Ireland, who see the value in supporting STEM education initiatives as much as we do.”
“We commend the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their ability to quickly adapt to the current environment to provide kids with a creative outlet in the face of adversity,” agrees Bill Myers, Managing Director of External Communications and Corporate Responsibility, Liberty Global. “We are inspired by the commitment of the foundation and our partners, and we can’t wait to see the inventions that this impressive next generation of thinkers create.”
Coolest Projects has now become more accessible to a larger number of children now that it has morphed into a virtual showcase. Young people can enter from anywhere in the world, and all submitted projects will be available to view on the Coolest Projects online gallery. From now until June 28, 2020, young people up to the age of 18 can submit projects in six key focus areas: hardware, Scratch, mobile apps, web, games (excluding Scratch) and advanced programming. To register, young people should create a two-minute video showing how their project works and answer several questions—provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation for every category, except Scratch. For participants who want to submit a project in the Scratch category, they can do so via a dedicated Scratch studio. They then register their details via the form at coolestprojects.org.
To reflect the online showcase’s emphasis on building community, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has also removed the competition element by having VIP judges choose “favourites” as opposed to winners in each category. Visit the Coolest Projects Online Showcase to see this year’s favorites.
“Now more than ever, it’s vital that young people stay connected to the global community of digital makers, to share great ideas and to learn from one another,” said Philip Colligan, Chief Executive Officer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “The Coolest Projects online showcase will give anyone up to the age of 18, anywhere on the planet, the opportunity to share their projects with the rest of the world.”
To generate inspiration, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has also launched a new free initiative to support young people and families called Digital Making at Home (DMAH) where participants can join weekly livestream coding sessions, watch code-along videos with step-by-step project guides and access support tutorials. “We expect that these activities will not only give kids a starting point for many creative ideas, but equally as important, it will give them the opportunity to connect with one another and work together to create even more impressive projects than anyone can create alone,” said Peter McCarthy, Vice President Legal & Regulatory at Virgin Media Ireland.
In that same spirit, EPAM, Liberty Global, Virgin Media Ireland and the Raspberry Pi Foundation came together—virtually—to discuss education, creativity and collaboration in the time of COVID-19. Hear what Elaina Shekhter, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Strategy at EPAM Systems; Bill Myers, Managing Director, External Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Liberty Global; Peter McCarthy, Vice President Legal & Regulatory at Virgin Media Ireland; and Philip Colligan, Chief Executive at Raspberry Pi Foundation had to say. Watch the video above.