Tag Archives: dsc

How a Student Leader Promotes Neurodiversity Awareness in Brazil and Beyond

Posted by Rodrigo Hirooka, Regional Lead for Brazil Developer Communities

Banner with image of João Victor Ipirajá, lead of the Google Student Developer Club at the Federal Institute of Science and Technology of Ceará

Perceiving that one is not like everyone else can be painful. Yet, the experience can also be illuminating. As a child in Brazil, João Victor Ipirajá, lead of the Google Student Developer Club (GDSC) at the Federal Institute of Science and Technology of Ceará (IFCE), knew he was different. He often felt overwhelmed by physical sensations and missed social cues. When he was eventually diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, he was actually relieved. Far from being a limitation, the realization gave him a new perspective on his intellectual strengths—such as his ability to perceive mathematical concepts in a highly visual way and his capacity for logical thinking and computer programming. “I was reborn to a full life shortly after I received this diagnosis,” he said in a video he made about his experiences as a person with ASD.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1 out of every 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet despite how relatively common ASD is, the wide diversity of the condition and misunderstandings about neurodiversity can still make it difficult to diagnose.

This newfound understanding of how his mind works helped guide him on his educational path as well as career direction. Instead of attending a traditional high school, which he felt would not play to his natural talents and strengths, João decided to study at IFCE, a technical college that also offered a high school program. There, he learned computer science and computer engineering, picking up new programming languages and honing his developer skills.

But most importantly, he felt he had “discovered his place.” His success at IFCE solving problems, using new tools, and working successfully with others soon outweighed his fears about meeting new people and not fitting in. The experience of finding a community convinced him of the need to encourage others to find theirs--and to help build them as well.

Joining GDSC and expanding awareness of neurodiversity

After high school, João decided to continue at IFCE for college to focus on computer engineering, where he learned new programming languages and tools like TensorFlow and Flutter. He also joined IFCE’s GDSC chapter, which further exposed him to new people and ideas. “It’s an honor to be part of this program, meeting people from all over the world and improving my speaking skills, especially in English,” he says. “For me, it’s something magical. I learned so much.”

At the same time, João was beginning to recognize the lack of understanding about neurodiversity in Brazil, even among technical audiences and employers in general. “Some people think we are crazy or we’re unable to do big projects,” he says. Even “good” stereotypes can be harmful--for example, many neurodiverse people have an ability to “hyperfocus” and work or study uninterrupted for hours on end. “People think it’s a superpower,” he says, but such extreme periods of concentration can also be unhealthy and lead to burnout.

Planting the seeds of change with GDSC events and projects

As the IFCE GDSC lead, João decided to concentrate his efforts on expanding awareness of neurodiversity, as well as other types of diversity—sexual, racial, religious, etc.—to help others find the sense of freedom and belonging he has experienced. “Many people don’t feel free to be whoever they want to be,” he says.

The chapter’s efforts include planning speaker sessions with diversity activists and specialists from the community, creating social media content in partnership with IFCE, creating workshops with other Brazilian GDSC chapters, and making diversity a priority when choosing core positions on the team.

He recently spoke at a DevFest event on the topic of “Understanding the autistic spectrum universe,” in which he explained the range of characteristics and abilities autistic people can display. He also wants to do more speaking events in Portuguese to break stereotypes about autism in Brazil specifically. “It’s just a student club, but we are trying to deconstruct stereotypes and prejudice that are so culturally strong in Brazil,” he says.

Cultivating understanding and acceptance in Brazil and beyond

Ultimately, João feels that providing more opportunities and platforms for diverse people will help others. As the community continues to come together, he might be able to help those who have that same sense of difference João remembers having as a child. João and others on his GDSC team especially hope that these efforts will advance a greater understanding around how to elevate and celebrate members of marginalized groups in his home country. However, his goals go beyond mere acceptance: he notes that people who feel more comfortable about who they are also feel more confident to fully participate in all aspects of society. People with diverse abilities and characteristics offer unique skills and perspectives that can also translate into advantages, especially among technical audiences and employers.

“It’s very important for people to have this opportunity to share their stories, to have these environments to make people understand,” he says. “For me, it’s very important, and I’m very honored.”

How a Developer Student Lead Increased Representation in Campus Clubs Through Community

Posted by Kyle Paul, Google Developer Student Club Regional Lead CA & US

Banner with image of Chloe Quijano and text that reads Google Developer Student Clubs University of Toronto

When Chloe Quijano arrived at the University of Toronto to study Applied Sciences, she immediately noticed that few of the professors or teaching assistants in the program looked like her. She noticed a lack of relatable role models online and on social media as well.

Chloe felt strongly about the importance of representation. Whether based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability status, she understood the importance of being able to find relatable role models in her field--and the implications of a lack of diversity. "It holds back the students wishing to go into the field," she says.

Statistics illustrating the low number of women in computing occupations

Bureau of Labor Statistics findings on women in computing occupations

Worse, she points out, those that do enter technical careers may experience impostor syndrome: “We often downplay the skills we have as developers.”

Discovering Google Developer Student Clubs

Data backs up Chloe’s impression about the lack of diversity in tech: According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), women made up only a quarter of the workforce in computing in 2020. Of those, just 3% were African-American, 7% Asian, and 2% Hispanic.

Determined to find a way to combat these trends, Chloe decided to look for a supportive community where she could help make a difference. While searching for a technology club where she could meet and learn from others, she stumbled across the university’s Google Developer Student Club. Noticing that the club was soliciting applications to serve as a lead, she decided to apply—and got the post!

Chloe quickly took steps to advance the group’s mission: to empower all students in technology. To help students like her connect with leaders and role models from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, she spearheaded the effort to organize the first-ever DSC Women in Tech Conference.

Held last March, the two-day virtual event featured 13 speakers from a range of backgrounds—including CEOs, Google employees, and recent graduates who landed internships and positions at prominent tech companies. Topics included charting your own path in tech, landing that first job, going the entrepreneurship route, and leveraging the power of a personal narrative. Hands-on workshops included a day-long hackathon challenge focused on redesigning a website to be more accessible and user-friendly for senior citizens. Ultimately, the conference drew more than 250 attendees from around the world, including South Korea, Morocco, Brazil, and China.

Expanding the Range of GDSC Events

After the conference’s success, Chloe continued organizing initiatives and programs for her GDSC group. She helped start a monthly tech meetup for women students, and a weekly online series highlighting potential careers paths, and featuring tech leaders as guests. In just under eight months, the chapter hosted 40 events, reaching more than 1700 participants.

Image shows Conference details and workshop titles

Examples of recent GDSC events at the University of Toronto

Chloe understood that greater encouragement and support can have long-term effects—not only while students are in school, but throughout their careers. “Showing more representation in tech greatly increases our confidence, innovation, and performance,” she points out. “Especially in academic environments, having a sense of belonging and community with role models for students to look up to can lead to success in tech together.”

Looking Ahead: Growth, Inspiration, and Connections

Having completed her term as the GDSC lead for the University of Toronto earlier this year, Chloe says the experience and her continuing involvement with the group has been instrumental in making her the student developer she is today. “I've been able to connect with student leaders globally from diverse backgrounds, academically, professionally, and culturally. It's inspiring to work alongside students who have unique perspectives.”

Such connections have become especially meaningful as she takes steps toward her post-graduation career, such as her first internship last summer, where she worked closely with several women software engineers at Microsoft. “Getting to work with them was really exciting and motivating,” she says.

Chloe can already see how her GDSC experience will support her professional development while also inspiring others to join the field. “I’m always going to be looking to become a better leader,” she says. “And then maybe other students like me who are looking for someone who looks like them, they’ll see me and think, ‘Yes, it’s possible.’”

Ultimately, Chloe says, helping others brings its own rewards: “Success takes care of those who create success for others.”

If you’re a student and would like to join a Google Developer Student Club community, look for a chapter near you here.

From Beginner to Machine Learning Instructor In A Year

Posted by Salim Abid, MENA Regional Lead, Developer Relations

Banner that reads Google Developer Student Clubs, Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST). Includes overhead image of person coding on a laptop

Yara Elkady, Google Developer Student Club (GDSC) Lead, can trace her passion for tech all the way back to a single moment. She was sitting in computer class when her middle school teacher posed a question to the class:

“Did you know that you can create apps and games like the ones that you spend so much time on?”

It was a simple question, but it was enough to plant the seed that would define the trajectory of Yara’s career. Following in the footsteps of so many beginners before her, Yara did a Google search to find out more about creating apps. She didn’t realize it at the time, but Yara had just taken her first steps down the path to becoming a developer.

Knowing that she wanted to pursue tech further, Yara went to college at Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST) in Giza, Egypt to study computer science. In her second year, she had begun reading more about artificial intelligence. Yara was blown away by the potential of training a machine to make decisions on its own. With machine learning, she could pursue more creative ideas that went beyond what was possible with traditional programming. As Yara explains, “It felt like magic”. Still, she felt lost like any beginner interested in AI.

Enter Google Developer Student Clubs

Yara first discovered the GDSC chapter at MUST through her school’s social media page. For the entirety of her second year, Yara attended workshops and saw firsthand how GDSC events could leave an impact on students aspiring to become developers. With help from Google Developer Student Clubs, Yara was able to grow her skills as a developer and connect with peers who shared her interests. At the end of the year, Yara applied to be a Lead so that she could help more students engage with the community. Not too long after, Yara was accepted as a GDSC Lead for the 2020-2021 season!

A classroom of people attend a GDSC MUST speaker session

A GDSC MUST speaker session

As part of becoming a GDSC Lead, Yara enrolled in the MENA DSC Leads Academy to receive hands-on training in various Google technologies. Despite being only the first time the Academy had ever been hosted (both in person and virtually), 100+ Leads from 150 GDSC chapters attended over the course of six weeks. Yara applied to the Machine Learning track and was chosen for the program. During the course, Yara mastered advanced machine learning concepts, including classical ML models, deep learning, data manipulation, and TensorFlow training. She also got to work with other Leads on advanced machine learning projects, helping her gain even more confidence in her ML knowledge.

Soon after passing the program, Yara collaborated with the GDSC Leads she met during the course to host a one-month ML track to pass on the knowledge they had learned to the GDSC community. Through the sessions she hosted, Yara was contacted by BambooGeeks, a startup that creates training opportunities for local tech aspirants to help them become industry-ready. Yara was offered a job as a machine learning instructor, and could now create sessions for the largest audience of trainees she’d ever worked with.

The road to certification

Yara didn’t realize it yet, but even more opportunities were headed her way. She learned from the GDSC MENA program manager that GDSC Leads would have the opportunity to take the TensorFlow Certification exam, if they wished to take it. It wouldn’t be easy, but Yara knew she had all the resources she needed to succeed. She wasted no time and created a study group with other GDSC Leads working to get certified. Together, Yara and her fellow Leads pulled endless all-nighters over the next few months so that they could skill up for the exam and support each other through the arduous study process. They also worked with Elyes Manai, a ML Google Developer Expert, who gave them an overview of the exam and recommended resources that would help them pass.

Thanks to those resources, support from her peers, and tons of hard work, Yara passed the exam and received her TensorFlow certification! And she wasn’t the only one. 11 other MENA GDSC Leads also passed the exam to receive their certifications. Yara and her study partners were the first women in Egypt to be featured in the TensorFlow Certificate Network, and Yara became one of 27 people in Africa to receive the TensorFlow Developer Certificate!

Image of Yara Elkady's TensorFlow Developer Certificate

Yara’s TensorFlow Developer Certificate

When Yara looks back at how she was able to fast track from beginner to certified machine learning developer in just a year, she credits Google Developer Student Clubs with:

  • Offering advanced Machine Learning training
  • Fostering connections with other Leads to host study jams
  • Providing guidance from machine learning GDEs
  • TensorFlow certification exam prep
  • Exposure to opportunities that enabled her to inspire others
  • Endless community support

The truth is, students like Yara make Google Developer Student Clubs special by sharing their knowledge with the community and building a support system with their peers that extends far beyond the classroom.

On the importance of community, Yara says it best:

“Reaching your goals is a much more enjoyable process when you have someone with you on the same journey, to share your ups and downs, and push you to do more when you feel like quitting. Your success becomes their success and that gives more meaning to your accomplishments.”

If you’re a student who is ready to join your own Google Developer Student Club community, find one near you here.

Meet the students coding their way to a better world

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Student headshots from the top 10 finalist teams of the Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge

What have we learned from the challenges that we’ve faced over the past year and continue to face today? How absolutely vital it is to protect our planet and the people living on it.

Enter the Solution Challenge, our annual contest inviting the global Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) community to develop solutions to real world problems utilizing Google technologies. This year’s Solution Challenge asks participants to solve for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, intended to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action.

The top 50 semi-finalists and the top 10 finalists were announced earlier this year. It all comes down to Demo Day on August 26th, where the finalists will present their solutions to Google and developers all around the world, live on YouTube. Here, judges will review their projects, ask questions, and choose the top 3 grand prize winners!

You can RSVP here to be a part of Demo Day, vote for the People’s Choice Award, and watch all the action as it unfolds live. Ahead of the event, get to know the top 10 finalists and their incredible solutions below.

Cameroon - Flow, University of Bamenda

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Flow is a mobile app that helps users easily find clean water sources nearby using Google Maps. Selecting a water source location on the map will tell users the name of the location, the status of the water source, and the approximate distance to the water source from the user’s current location. Flow was built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Maps Platform. The app was developed by Alouzeh Brandone Mahbuh, Chi Karl Junior, Meh Mbeh Ida Delphine, and Nuikweh Lewis.

“The lack of water and quest for clean water in my community inspired us to select this goal. Our solution is a mobile application which makes use of a ‘live location’ feature to help members in my community easily find clean water sources.”

Canada - Helppier, University of Toronto

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities

Helppier is an Android app that creates volunteering opportunities in local neighborhoods. With Helppier, you can volunteer to help out others, request a volunteer, and earn rewards. Unlike traditional volunteering positions with organizations, Helppier fosters a sense of community by allowing people to make a direct impact in their neighborhood. Helppier's ultimate goal is to make volunteering a regular part of peoples’ daily routines. The Android app was developed using Google Cloud Platform, Firebase, and Cloud Run by James Lee, Janice Cheung, Mohamed Amine Belabbes, and Oluwateleayo Oyekunle.

“With loneliness rates skyrocketing due to COVID, many people are feeling more isolated and in need of help, but may not have anyone in their neighborhood to turn to. Helppier facilitates the opportunity for people to connect with one another through acts of kindness, regardless of who they are or where they came from.”

Egypt - E-Owl, Future Academy

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education

E-Owl is a virtual education platform that helps professors create virtual meetings, exams, and posts. With E-Owl, students can also check their grades and assignments online. The web application features focus detection and monitors real-time emotion of students to help instructors improve their students’ learning experience. E-Owl was created using Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, and TensorFlow by Ahmed Mostafa Ibrahiem, Kerolos Kamal Botros, Khaled Abdel-Fattah Ahmed, and Mahmoud Said Ramadan Gad.

“Our main target is education and well-being. We are working on how to maintain learners' attention and motivation in the virtual classrooms and also effectively managing the progress of each student online.”

Germany - SimplAR, Technical University of Munich

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

SimplAR is an app that utilizes the power of Natural Language Processing to translate any text (newspapers, books, manuals, etc.) into simplified language just by taking a picture of it. The app is catered towards people with functional illiteracy who sometimes have difficulty comprehending text. SimplAR delivers text following plain language principles that is easy to understand, making reading experiences more accessible for everyone. Almo Sutedjo, Maria Pospelova, Sami Wirtensohn, and Viviana Sutedjo used Flutter and Firebase to develop their app.

“Around 1 in 7 people worldwide have difficulties understanding complicated texts due to functional illiteracy. We want to enable people with functional illiteracy to gain understanding about any text in any form, and therefore giving them the chance to lead a more independent life.”

India - Eye Of God, K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Eye of God is an app featuring an easy-to-use navigation system that helps people with visual impairment navigate to their destination by themselves without needing the assistance of others. The Eye of God navigation system uses voice feedback through the user’s smartphone which is mounted on a VR Headset, and vibrational feedback through a custom-made waist belt, to guide users in both indoor and outdoor settings. The app is built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, and more, by Anish Pawar, Gayatri Vijay Patil, Jatin Nainani, and Priyanka Hotchandani.

“Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t need to mean the loss of independence of getting to and from places. The advancement of technology can make it possible to help people move freely within their environments and get around safely regardless of their amount of vision.”

India - Swaasthy, Chitkara University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Swaasthy is a medical app made to uplift user health and increase access to healthcare. It contains medicine reminder functionality and the ability to make an SOS call to nearby ambulances, get an appointment with a virtual doc, and more. The team behind the app believes that their all-in-one approach will go a long way towards bringing down the death rate faced by patients in India due to delays in health services. Additionally, Swaasthy promotes education and economic growth by providing first responders with valuable training opportunities when they sign up via the app. Bhavesh Goyal, Himanshu Sharma, Ishan Sharma, and Kushal Bhanot used Flutter and Firebase to bring their idea to life.

“When it comes to saving a life, every millisecond counts! One in 10 patients in India dies on the way to the hospital. And we're here to change that. We're Swaasthy! The only health app you'll ever need. Solving real-life problems isn’t easy, but at the same time, it's not impossible.”

Indonesia - Game Your Fit, Binus University International

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

Game Your Fit is an app that keeps track of your movements in real time using your smartphone's movement sensors. It promotes exercise and staying active by turning the experience into a game! The app features a variety of aerobic, anaerobic, and calisthenics exercises to target different areas of the user’s body. One of the app’s game modes, CardioCamera, uses Google’s MLKit AI library to detect movements that the user makes. The app is written in Kotlin and connected to a Firebase project, and was developed by Aric Hernando, Jason Christian Hailianto, Jason Jeremy Wijadi, and Monique Senjaya.

“We are interested in creating a solution for target 3.4, which is to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health. We aim to improve the health of many, specifically teens and young adults, by designing a gamified exercising application experience.”

Philippines - i-RISE, University of the Philippines in the Visayas

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, Goal 13: Climate Action

Project Island Response and Intervention for Systematic Evacuation, or i-RISE, is a disaster risk management system that aims to bridge the information gap between local government units, disaster risk management offices, and the island communities of Tubigon, Bohol. The app includes tidal and weather information, evacuation warnings, rescue request functionality, climate change education, and more. i-Rise consists of a web app and mobile app, built with Flutter, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, and Firebase. The project was built by Jian Hurl A. Asiado, Joerian E. Gauten, Patricia Marie C. Garcia, and Rex Ronter G. Ruiz.

“The Philippines is one of the world's most affected countries by climate change as it experiences the most frequent and strongest typhoons and sea level rise. The vision of Project i-RISE is disaster resilience as a national imperative where all Filipinos anywhere in the archipelago are inclusive of growth and are able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.”

Singapore - DementiCare, Nanyang Technological University

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

DementiCare is an app equipped with a wide range of features to compliment caregiving for people living with dementia. With the app, caregivers can send notices to patients, access discussion forums, create a patient dashboard, and more. A user with dementia can send an SOS, access memories, view family data, and read notes from caregivers. DementiCare includes a simple interface for users living with dementia, and a feature-rich dashboard to help caregivers carry out their responsibilities without relying on any additional software. Aishik Nagar and Ritik Bhatia used Flutter and Firebase to build their app.

“Having personal relations suffering from Dementia and having cared for them several times, we knew firsthand how tough it was for patients and their caregivers to cope with Dementia. Our solution is DementiCare, a mobile application made to reduce, digitize, and revolutionize the barrier to skills, knowledge, and experience required for providing care to patients suffering from Dementia.”

Turkey - QRegister, Middle East Technical University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production, Goal 15: Life on Land

QRegister is an app that removes the need for physical paper receipts upon transactions and instead encourages the use of QR codes for users to virtually keep track of all their receipts. The app reduces waste generation by eliminating paper receipts that usually end up as litter. BPA, a chemical often used in thermal receipts, can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to a number of health concerns. By digitizing receipts, QRegister reduces the chemicals that we’re exposed to daily. QRegister was created with Firebase and Flutter by Alkım Dömeke, Deniz Karakay, Humeyra Bodur, and Murat Kaş.

“QRegister wants to raise awareness regarding the wastefulness of paper receipt production. Our team developed an environmentally friendly smart register that eliminates paper receipts and effortlessly stores purchase data.”

________________________

Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about Google Developer Student Clubs? Find a club near you here, and be sure to RSVP here to watch our upcoming Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th.

Meet the students coding their way to a better world

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Student headshots from the top 10 finalist teams of the Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge

What have we learned from the challenges that we’ve faced over the past year and continue to face today? How absolutely vital it is to protect our planet and the people living on it.

Enter the Solution Challenge, our annual contest inviting the global Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) community to develop solutions to real world problems utilizing Google technologies. This year’s Solution Challenge asks participants to solve for one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, intended to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action.

The top 50 semi-finalists and the top 10 finalists were announced earlier this year. It all comes down to Demo Day on August 26th, where the finalists will present their solutions to Google and developers all around the world, live on YouTube. Here, judges will review their projects, ask questions, and choose the top 3 grand prize winners!

You can RSVP here to be a part of Demo Day, vote for the People’s Choice Award, and watch all the action as it unfolds live. Ahead of the event, get to know the top 10 finalists and their incredible solutions below.

Cameroon - Flow, University of Bamenda

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Flow is a mobile app that helps users easily find clean water sources nearby using Google Maps. Selecting a water source location on the map will tell users the name of the location, the status of the water source, and the approximate distance to the water source from the user’s current location. Flow was built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Maps Platform. The app was developed by Alouzeh Brandone Mahbuh, Chi Karl Junior, Meh Mbeh Ida Delphine, and Nuikweh Lewis.

“The lack of water and quest for clean water in my community inspired us to select this goal. Our solution is a mobile application which makes use of a ‘live location’ feature to help members in my community easily find clean water sources.”

Canada - Helppier, University of Toronto

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities

Helppier is an Android app that creates volunteering opportunities in local neighborhoods. With Helppier, you can volunteer to help out others, request a volunteer, and earn rewards. Unlike traditional volunteering positions with organizations, Helppier fosters a sense of community by allowing people to make a direct impact in their neighborhood. Helppier's ultimate goal is to make volunteering a regular part of peoples’ daily routines. The Android app was developed using Google Cloud Platform, Firebase, and Cloud Run by James Lee, Janice Cheung, Mohamed Amine Belabbes, and Oluwateleayo Oyekunle.

“With loneliness rates skyrocketing due to COVID, many people are feeling more isolated and in need of help, but may not have anyone in their neighborhood to turn to. Helppier facilitates the opportunity for people to connect with one another through acts of kindness, regardless of who they are or where they came from.”

Egypt - E-Owl, Future Academy

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education

E-Owl is a virtual education platform that helps professors create virtual meetings, exams, and posts. With E-Owl, students can also check their grades and assignments online. The web application features focus detection and monitors real-time emotion of students to help instructors improve their students’ learning experience. E-Owl was created using Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, and TensorFlow by Ahmed Mostafa Ibrahiem, Kerolos Kamal Botros, Khaled Abdel-Fattah Ahmed, and Mahmoud Said Ramadan Gad.

“Our main target is education and well-being. We are working on how to maintain learners' attention and motivation in the virtual classrooms and also effectively managing the progress of each student online.”

Germany - SimplAR, Technical University of Munich

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

SimplAR is an app that utilizes the power of Natural Language Processing to translate any text (newspapers, books, manuals, etc.) into simplified language just by taking a picture of it. The app is catered towards people with functional illiteracy who sometimes have difficulty comprehending text. SimplAR delivers text following plain language principles that is easy to understand, making reading experiences more accessible for everyone. Almo Sutedjo, Maria Pospelova, Sami Wirtensohn, and Viviana Sutedjo used Flutter and Firebase to develop their app.

“Around 1 in 7 people worldwide have difficulties understanding complicated texts due to functional illiteracy. We want to enable people with functional illiteracy to gain understanding about any text in any form, and therefore giving them the chance to lead a more independent life.”

India - Eye Of God, K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Eye of God is an app featuring an easy-to-use navigation system that helps people with visual impairment navigate to their destination by themselves without needing the assistance of others. The Eye of God navigation system uses voice feedback through the user’s smartphone which is mounted on a VR Headset, and vibrational feedback through a custom-made waist belt, to guide users in both indoor and outdoor settings. The app is built with Firebase, Flutter, Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, and more, by Anish Pawar, Gayatri Vijay Patil, Jatin Nainani, and Priyanka Hotchandani.

“Being blind or visually impaired doesn’t need to mean the loss of independence of getting to and from places. The advancement of technology can make it possible to help people move freely within their environments and get around safely regardless of their amount of vision.”

India - Swaasthy, Chitkara University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Swaasthy is a medical app made to uplift user health and increase access to healthcare. It contains medicine reminder functionality and the ability to make an SOS call to nearby ambulances, get an appointment with a virtual doc, and more. The team behind the app believes that their all-in-one approach will go a long way towards bringing down the death rate faced by patients in India due to delays in health services. Additionally, Swaasthy promotes education and economic growth by providing first responders with valuable training opportunities when they sign up via the app. Bhavesh Goyal, Himanshu Sharma, Ishan Sharma, and Kushal Bhanot used Flutter and Firebase to bring their idea to life.

“When it comes to saving a life, every millisecond counts! One in 10 patients in India dies on the way to the hospital. And we're here to change that. We're Swaasthy! The only health app you'll ever need. Solving real-life problems isn’t easy, but at the same time, it's not impossible.”

Indonesia - Game Your Fit, Binus University International

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

Game Your Fit is an app that keeps track of your movements in real time using your smartphone's movement sensors. It promotes exercise and staying active by turning the experience into a game! The app features a variety of aerobic, anaerobic, and calisthenics exercises to target different areas of the user’s body. One of the app’s game modes, CardioCamera, uses Google’s MLKit AI library to detect movements that the user makes. The app is written in Kotlin and connected to a Firebase project, and was developed by Aric Hernando, Jason Christian Hailianto, Jason Jeremy Wijadi, and Monique Senjaya.

“We are interested in creating a solution for target 3.4, which is to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health. We aim to improve the health of many, specifically teens and young adults, by designing a gamified exercising application experience.”

Philippines - i-RISE, University of the Philippines in the Visayas

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, Goal 13: Climate Action

Project Island Response and Intervention for Systematic Evacuation, or i-RISE, is a disaster risk management system that aims to bridge the information gap between local government units, disaster risk management offices, and the island communities of Tubigon, Bohol. The app includes tidal and weather information, evacuation warnings, rescue request functionality, climate change education, and more. i-Rise consists of a web app and mobile app, built with Flutter, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, and Firebase. The project was built by Jian Hurl A. Asiado, Joerian E. Gauten, Patricia Marie C. Garcia, and Rex Ronter G. Ruiz.

“The Philippines is one of the world's most affected countries by climate change as it experiences the most frequent and strongest typhoons and sea level rise. The vision of Project i-RISE is disaster resilience as a national imperative where all Filipinos anywhere in the archipelago are inclusive of growth and are able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.”

Singapore - DementiCare, Nanyang Technological University

UN Sustainable Goal Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

DementiCare is an app equipped with a wide range of features to compliment caregiving for people living with dementia. With the app, caregivers can send notices to patients, access discussion forums, create a patient dashboard, and more. A user with dementia can send an SOS, access memories, view family data, and read notes from caregivers. DementiCare includes a simple interface for users living with dementia, and a feature-rich dashboard to help caregivers carry out their responsibilities without relying on any additional software. Aishik Nagar and Ritik Bhatia used Flutter and Firebase to build their app.

“Having personal relations suffering from Dementia and having cared for them several times, we knew firsthand how tough it was for patients and their caregivers to cope with Dementia. Our solution is DementiCare, a mobile application made to reduce, digitize, and revolutionize the barrier to skills, knowledge, and experience required for providing care to patients suffering from Dementia.”

Turkey - QRegister, Middle East Technical University

UN Sustainable Goals Addressed: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production, Goal 15: Life on Land

QRegister is an app that removes the need for physical paper receipts upon transactions and instead encourages the use of QR codes for users to virtually keep track of all their receipts. The app reduces waste generation by eliminating paper receipts that usually end up as litter. BPA, a chemical often used in thermal receipts, can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to a number of health concerns. By digitizing receipts, QRegister reduces the chemicals that we’re exposed to daily. QRegister was created with Firebase and Flutter by Alkım Dömeke, Deniz Karakay, Humeyra Bodur, and Murat Kaş.

“QRegister wants to raise awareness regarding the wastefulness of paper receipt production. Our team developed an environmentally friendly smart register that eliminates paper receipts and effortlessly stores purchase data.”

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Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about Google Developer Student Clubs? Find a club near you here, and be sure to RSVP here to watch our upcoming Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th.

Meet the global students solving local problems with code

Posted by Erica Hanson, Developer Student Clubs Program Manager, Google

Google Developer Student Clubs (DSC) are university based community groups for students who are interested in Google’s developer technologies. Each year, Google puts a call out to the entire DSC global community, asking students to answer one simple question: Can you solve a local problem in your community by building with Google’s technologies?

This event is known as the DSC Solution Challenge and this year’s winners went above and beyond to answer the call - so much so that we couldn’t just pick one winner, we chose 10.

While we initially thought we were the ones sending out the challenge, these young developers instead flipped the script back on us. Through their innovative designs and uncompromised creative spirit, they’ve pushed our team here at Google to stretch our thinking about how developers can build a more hopeful future.

With this, we’re welcoming these passionate students and anyone interested to the virtual Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th, where the students will present their winning ideas in detail.

Ahead of the event, learn more about this incredible group of thinkers and their solutions below.

1. FreeSpeak - Technical University of Munich, Germany

Maria Pospelova, Wei Wen Qing, and Almo Gunadya Sutedjo developed FreeSpeak, a software that uses modern machine learning and video/audio analyzing tools by leveraging TensorFlow and Google Cloud’s Natural Language to analyze presentations and give individual feedback and tips as a “virtual coach.”

“We’ve loved connecting with talented people from around the world and exchanging ideas with them. We see that we can provide impact not only to our local neighborhood, but also around the world and help people. This motivates us to work a lot harder.”

2. CoronaAI - University of California Berkeley, United States

Anushka Purohit, Anupam Tiwari, and Neel Desai created CoronaAI, a TensorFlow based technology that helps examine COVID-19 data. Specifically, the device is made up of a band worn around a patient's chest that uses electrodes to extract real-time images of the lungs. From here, the band connects to a monitor that allows doctors to examine patients in real time without being near them.

“We're honestly huge fans of the Google Cloud Platform because of its simplicity, familiarity, and the large number of resources available. Developing this project was the best learning experience.”

3. Worthy Walk - National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Pakistan

Syed Moazzam Maqsood, Krinza Momin, Muhammad Ahmed Gul, and Hussain Zuhair built Worthy Walk: an Android and iOS app that provides its users a platform to achieve health goals by walking, running, or cycling. To encourage users, Worthy Walk provides an inbuilt currency called Knubs that can be redeemed as discounts from local businesses, shops, and startups.

“Being a part of DSC means friendship - sharing knowledge and resources - all while developing a social infrastructure that gives people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”

4. Simhae : Deep sea of mind - Soonchunhyang University, South Korea

Yuna Kim, Young hoon Jo, Jeong yoon Joo, and Sangbeom Hwang created Simhae, a platform created with Flutter and Google Cloud that allows users to access basic information and activities to inspire them to attend self-help gatherings run by suicide prevention centers. They believe that this experience is an important point that can lead to solidarity of suicide survivors.

“It's so nice to have a chance to meet more diverse people. Through these communities, I can make up for my shortcomings and share more information with those who have different experiences than me - all while developing my own potential.”

5. Emergency Response Assistance - University of Education, Winneba (College of Technology Kumasi), Ghana

Elvis Antwi Sarfo, Yaw Barnieh Anane, Ampomah Ata Acheampong Prince, and Perditha Abena Acheampong constructed Emergency Response Assistance, an Android application to help health authorities post the latest first aid steps to educate the public and also help the victims report emergency cases with a click of a button. The Emergency Response team will also be able to track the exact location of the victims on the map.

“DSC is not just a community, it’s an inspiration. It’s outstanding how the platform has brought all of these students, lecturers, and teaching assistants, who are all so passionate about using tech to solve problems, together.”

6. Tulibot - Politeknik Elektronika Negeri Surabaya, Indonesia

Muhammad Alan Nur, Pravasta Caraka Bramastagiri, Eva Rahmadanti, and Namira Rizqi Annisa created Tulibot: an integrated assistive technology, built with the Google Speech API, that’s made to bridge communication between deaf people and society. The group made two main devices, Smart Glasses and Smart Gloves. Smart Glasses help with communication for the hearing impaired by showing real time answers directly on the glasses from its interlocutors. Smart Gloves transcribe gesture input into audio output by implementing gesture to text technology.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for us because with this challenge, we can learn many things like coding, management, business, and more. The special materials we can get directly from Google is so helpful.”

7. Picare - The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong

Sze Yuk Yin, Kwok Ue Nam, Ng Chi Ting, Chong Cheuk Hei, and Silver Ng developed Picare, a healthcare matching platform built with Flutter and Google Machine Learning to help elderly people in Hong Kong. Users will be able to use the app to research, schedule, and pay caregivers directly through the app.

“Our community hosted several workshops ranging from design thinking to coding techniques. This boosted our development by introducing us to various state-of-the-art technologies, such as Machine Learning and Cloud computing, which helped us reach our development goals.”

8. Shareapy - Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam

Vo Ngoc Khanh Linh, Tran Lam Bao Khang, Nguyen Dang Huy, and Nguyen Thanh Nhan built Shareapy: a digitized support group app created with Android that helps bring people together who share similar problems regardless of their age, gender, religion, financial status, etc. After conducting an extremely rigorous user testing phase, this team had the chance to see all that TensorFlow and Firebase could do.

“My team loves Firebase so much. One of our team members now uses it to help do some of his homework problems.”

9. Capstone - Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

Victor Chinyavada, Marvellous Humphery Chirunga, and Lavender Zandile Tshuma started Capstone, a service hosted on the Google Cloud Platform that aims to combat plagiarism among students, authors, and researchers. In particular, the technology aims to develop more effective algorithms that will incorporate the latest in big data, artificial intelligence, and data mining. As a team, the group bonded over applying technologies from Google to their project, but their real takeaway was working together to solve problems.

“To submit our project on time, we started all night hackathons, which helped us finish all of our work while having fun and getting to know each other better.”

10. MiCamp - Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, India

Praveen Agrawal built MiCamp, an Android app that holds all the info students from his campus need. Features include a calendar with upcoming campus events, student profiles, a used book marketplace, hostel management, online food ordering, and more. As a team of one, Praveen needed to speed up his development, so he applied his new knowledge of Flutter to finish.

“I’d heard of technologies like Flutter, but never used them until joining DSC; they inspired us to use those technologies, which really improved my solution.”

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Want to learn more about Developer Student Clubs? Join a club near you, here and stay tuned for our upcoming virtual Solution Challenge Demo Day on August 26th, here.

3 ways local developer communities are staying connected virtually

Posted by JP Loughran, Google Developers

As the world continues to embrace remote opportunities, Google Developer Group (GDG) and Developer Student Club (DSC) communities have been working hard to support each other virtually – complete with online technical education and remote spaces to build local community connections. In particular, community groups in Sweden, Singapore, and throughout MENA have been creating resources to help developers find online employment, education, and engagement opportunities. Curious to find out more? Keep reading below.

1. Employment - Sweden

Community members from Google Developer Group West Sweden recently rolled up their sleeves to do what they do best: hack. From April 6th – 8th, the community worked with the Swedish Government to create “Hack the Crisis,” a virtual community event focused on designing, testing, and executing ideas in response to recent challenges.

The event included several project pitches and a group of judges to select winning proposals. One of the finalists, Remote + Gigs on Platsbanken, developed a plan to modernize the Swedish Government’s employment website in an effort to save business.

Specifically, the idea suggests updating the website’s interface so that job seekers can be easily matched with compatible remote work based on their preferences. A creative way to safely bring work to both people and businesses in need.

2. Education - Singapore

(On the left is the Singapore University of Technology and Design. On the right is a virtual model of the campus.)

Recently, a Google Developer Student Club at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) built a virtual model of their college to host tours that were canceled in person. Specifically, the team of 40+ student developers came together to construct the model on Minecraft, creating an experience that allows visitors to freely and interactively explore the campus – just like they would in person.

The team also used their knowledge of DialogFlow to build a tour guide chatbot that answers questions from the virtual visitors.

The university has loved the virtual campus. On the first day it opened, roughly 200 visitors joined tours and over 1,000 users came to interact with the site.

3. Engagement - Middle East & North Africa

Recently, 200+ developer communities, 100 local experts, and 10+ Google Developer Experts have come together to host MENA Digital Days – a 32 week series of live video workshops providing various training on everything from working from home to leadership to coding.

The series, which started at the end of March and will continue until the end of October, engages viewers with its live workshop style format and is published on a daily and weekly basis. With a unique theme each week, the series aims to provide learning opportunities for developers, women, students, and startups.

With such a broad range of participants from all over the world, MENA Digital Days is currently taking place in three languages: Arabic, French, and English. Catch up any time on past videos on the YouTube playlist or join a live workshop to get involved.

Community matters more than ever, so it’s impressive to see so many groups adapt so quickly to being digital-first. If you’re inspired by these stories, learn more about local developer communities hosting virtual events near you here.

Become a Developer Student Club Lead

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Lead, Developer Student Clubs

Calling all student developers: If you’re someone who wants to lead, is passionate about technology, loves problem-solving, and is driven to give back to your community, then Developer Student Clubs has a home for you. Interest forms for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year are now available. Ready to dive in? Get started at goo.gle/dsc-leads.

Want to know more? Check out these details below.

Image description: People holding up Developer Students Club sign

What are Developer Student Clubs?

Developer Student Clubs (DSC) are university based community groups for students interested in Google developer technologies. With programs that meet in person and online, students from all undergraduate and graduate programs with an interest in growing as a developer are welcome. By joining a DSC, students grow their knowledge in a peer-to-peer learning environment and build solutions for local businesses and their community.

Why should I join?

- Grow your skills as a developer with training content from Google.

- Think of your own project, then lead a team of your peers to scale it.

- Build prototypes and solutions for local problems.

- Participate in a global developer competition.

- Receive access to select Google events and conferences.

- Gain valuable experience

Is there a Developer Student Club near me?

Developer Student Clubs are now in 68+ countries with 860+ groups. Find a club near you or learn how to start your own, here.

When do I need to submit the interest form?

You may express interest through the form until May 15th, 11:59pm PST. Get started here.

Make sure to learn more about our program criteria.

Our DSC Leads are working on meaningful projects around the world. Watch this video of how one lead worked to protect her community from dangerous floods in Indonesia. Similarly, read this story of how another lead helped modernize healthcare in Uganda.

We’re looking forward to welcoming a new group of leads to Developer Student Clubs. Have a friend who you think is a good fit? Pass this article along. Wishing all developer students the best on the path towards building great products and community.

Submit interest form here.



*Developer Student Clubs are student-led independent organizations, and their presence does not indicate a relationship between Google and the students' universities.

Developer Student Clubs: A Walk That Changed Healthcare

Posted by Erica Hanson, Program Manager

ARUA, UGANDA - Samuel Mugisha is a 23 year old university student with a laugh that echoes off every wall and a mind determined to make change. Recently he heard from a healthcare worker that many children at a local clinic were missing vaccinations, so he decided to take a walk. He toured his community, neighbor to neighbor, and asked one simple question: “Can I see your vaccination card?”

In response he was given dirt stained, wrinkled, torn pieces of paper, holding life or death information - all written in scribble.

He squinted, held the cards to the light, rubbed them on his pant leg, but for no use. They were impossible to read. As Samuel put it, “They were broken.”

From the few cards he could read, Samuel noted children who had missed several vaccinations - they were unknowingly playing the odds, waiting to see if disease would find them.

“Looking through the cards, you could tell these kids had missed several vaccinations.”

Without hesitation, Samuel got right to work, determined to fix the healthcare system with technology.

He first brought together his closest friends from Developer Student Clubs (DSC), a program supporting students impacting their communities through tech. He asked them: “Why can’t technology solve our problem?”

Team photo of Developer Student Club

This newly formed team, including Samuel, Joshwa Benkya and Norman Acidri, came up with a twofold plan:

  1. Create a mobile app to replace the broken cards, so healthcare workers can clearly track which vaccines their young patients have received.
  2. Create a notification to alert healthcare workers when a child is due for a new vaccination.

The idea came together right as Developer Student Clubs launched its first Solution Challenge, an open call for all members to submit projects they recently imagined. These young developers had to give it a shot. They created a model, filled out an application, and pitched the idea. After waiting a month, they heard back - their team won the competition! Their idea was selected from a pool of 170 applicants across India, Africa, and Indonesia. In other words, everything was about to change.

In a country where talent can go unnoticed and problems often go unsolved, this new team had pushed through the odds. Developer Student Clubs is a platform for these types of bold thinkers. Students who view the issues of their region not simply as obstacles to overcome, but chances to mend their home, build a better life for themselves, and transform the experiences of their people.

The goal of the Solution Challenge, and all other DSC programs, is to educate young developers early and equip them with the right skills to make an impact in their community.

In this case, office space in Uganda was expensive and hard to find. Samuel’s team previously had few chances to all work under the same roof. After winning the challenge, Developer Student Clubs helped them find a physical space of their own to come together and collaborate - a simple tool, but one that led to a turning point. As Samuel described it,

“Developer Student Clubs helped us not be alone and apart from each other while trying to solve this problem. They gave us the space to come together and learn. We could all be in the same room, thinking together.”

Image of developers in classroom

With this new space to work, DSC then brought some of Africa’s best Google Developer Group Leads directly to the young developers. In these meetings, the students were given high-level insights on how to best leverage Android, Firebase, and Presto to propel their product forward. As Samuel put it:

“If we wanted to learn something, they gave us the best expert.”

As a result, the team realized that with the scarcity of internet in Uganda, Firebase was the perfect technology to build with - allowing healthcare workers to use the app offline but “check in” and receive updates when they were able to find internet.

Although the app has made impressive strides since winning the competition, this young team knows they can make it even better. They want to improve its usability by implementing more visuals and are working to create a version for parents, so families can track the status of their child’s vaccination on their own.

While there is plenty of work ahead, with these gifted students and Developer Student Clubs taking each step forward together, any challenge seems solvable.

What has the team been up to recently? From August 5th-9th they attended the Startup Africa Roadtrip, an intensive training week on how best to refine a startup business model.