EPAM Empowers Young Coders and Creators for Coolest Projects 2021
For the second consecutive year, EPAM was proud to sponsor Coolest Projects, the world’s leading technology showcase for young people ages 7-18, held by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, alongside our clients Liberty Global and Virgin Media. As major sponsors of this year’s competition, EPAM and our partners empowered young coders and creators from around the world to workshop, test and present innovative projects that fit a co-sponsored theme this year, making an environmental impact.
Through its free, open and local programming clubs, all levels of ability from creators, designers, gamers and inventors were able to present their projects to a global audience through the Coolest Projects virtual gallery. Coolest Projects events are open to all levels of ability and focus on creativity, participation and, most of all, having fun. This year’s technology fair welcomed 1,385 young creators from 47 countries – an 85% increase in participants from 2020!
In addition to co-sponsoring the environmental theme this year, EPAM, Liberty Global and Virgin Media were all represented in an executive panel that addressed how corporate sponsors can help drive youth education, fuel young people’s imaginations through investing in STEM education and prepare them for the digital workforce of tomorrow. Elaina Shekhter, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, SVP, says that the question that we’ve been asking ourselves at EPAM for years—how to act as an example of an institution who deeply values learning and pay that forward to the next generation of innovators—inspires why we chose to support Raspberry Pi Foundation, and others like them, in their efforts to get kids excited about solving problems through technology and collaboration.
“I think our job is to expand the definition of innovation, not just to be leaving it with large organizations, but to go broader and go across our network of partners and our customers,” explains Elaina, “and actually encourage kids as young as elementary age to take on difficult problems as their mantle. What we can do… is help teach people how to think and give them the platforms to actually experiment and solve problems at any level.”
As sponsors, EPAM and our partners also selected a favorite project in the environmental category, choosing to highlight the hardware project Ora—which seeks to augment an animal’s sensory perception with science and technology and utilize their heightened reflexes and survival instincts to potentially save them and mitigate incidents of roadkill. Congratulations not only to this project, but to the many others who were selected as favorites!
EPAM’s sponsorship of Coolest Projects further develops our mission to strengthen relationships and a sense of community with partners to create real, concrete ways to deliver on our commitment to act as a company that can develop the next generation of STEM leaders. “We are excited to see how the talented young coders and creators brought ideas to life that can potentially change the world and help the environment,” says Shamilka Samarasinha, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at EPAM. “No idea is too small or big to make a difference.”
Along with our global eKids programs, EPAM pledges to empower an additional 5,000 students with high-tech skills and global opportunities by 2025. To do so, we have the honor of working with and sponsoring partner organizations on joint education and development programs like we have with Raspberry Pi Foundation and Coolest Projects. Learn more about acting for good in our communities, our partners and our approach to corporate responsibility here.