How children make digital projects: Research from Coolest Projects 2018

I’m lucky in my job to get to spend lots of time talking to young makers about the projects they make. Back in the summer we undertook a research project at the Raspberry Pi Foundation to document in detail a sample of projects from the ‘Coolest Projects’ events and explore the stories behind them. We’ve published our findings over on the Raspberry Pi research page, drawing together what we discussed to better understand how young people approach these projects.

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers and entrepreneurs. Young makers bring their projects to share with others in a ‘science fair’–style exhibition. Projects are submitted in categories, and judges select the outstanding projects in each category to win awards. The emphasis is on sharing and learning from others, and getting inspired by the wide range of projects shown.

Every project has a different story, but it was interesting to see the common threads. Young people seem to either start with an idea, a particular technology, or a skillset, and develop their approach from there. Ideas and technologies were the more common starting points for our interviewees, with them usually looking to develop the skills they needed in order to achieve their ambitions. 

We’ve documented a number of projects as case studies, and analysed what we found in our publication, you can find at the link below. It’s already influencing what we do to support even more young people to get involved in these kinds of activities, and hopefully it’s of interest to others trying to do the same.

How Children Make Digital Projects: Research from Coolest Projects 2018

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