Tag Archives: solution challenge

Let’s Build Solutions! Solution Challenge 2022: Solve for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Using Google Technologies

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

Solution Challenge 2022 banner image

Have you ever thought about building an application or tool that solves a problem your community faces? Or perhaps you’ve felt inspired to build something that can help improve the lives of those you care about. The year ahead brings more opportunities for helping each other and giving back to our communities.

With that in mind, we invite students around the world to join the Google Developer Student Clubs 2022 Solution Challenge! Where students from around the world are invited to solve for one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals using Google technologies.

About the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Created by the United Nations in 2015 to be achieved by 2030, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by all 193 United Nations Member States aim to end poverty, ensure prosperity, and protect the planet.

If you’re new to the Solution Challenge, it is an annual competition that invites university students to develop solutions for real world problems using one or more Google products or platforms.

This year, see how you can use Android, Firebase, TensorFlow, Google Cloud, Flutter, or any of your favorite Google technologies to promote employment for all, economic growth, and climate action, by building a solution for one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

What winners of the Solution Challenge receive

Participants will receive specialized prizes at different stages:

  • Top 50 teams - Receive customized mentorship from Googlers and experts to take solutions to the next level, a branded T-shirt, and a certificate.
  • Top 10 finalists - Receive additional mentorship, a swag box, and the opportunity to showcase solutions to Googlers and developers all around the world during the virtual 2022 Solution Challenge Demo Day live on YouTube.
  • Contest Finalists - In addition to the swag box, each individual from the additional seven recognized teams will receive a Cash Prize of $1,000 per student. Winnings for each qualifying team will not exceed $4,000.
  • Top 3 winners - In addition to the swag box, each individual from the top 3 winning teams will receive a Cash Prize of $3,000 and a feature on the Google Developers Blog. Winnings for each qualifying team will not exceed $12,000.

How to get started on the Solution Challenge

There are four main steps to joining the Solution Challenge and getting started on your project:

  1. Register at goo.gle/solutionchallenge and join a Google Developer Student Club at your college or university. If there is no club at your university, you can join the closest one through the event platform.
  2. Select one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals to solve for.
  3. Build a solution using Google technology.
  4. Create a demo and submit your project by March 31, 2022.

Resources from Google for Solution Challenge participants

Google will provide Solution Challenge participants with various resources to help students build strong projects for their contest submission.

  • Live online sessions with Q&As
  • Mentorship from Google, Google Developer Experts, and the Google Developer Student Club community
  • Curated codelabs designed by Google Developers
  • Access to Design Sprint guidelines developed by Google Ventures
  • and more!

When are winners announced?

Once all the projects are submitted by the March 31st, 2022 deadline, judges will evaluate and score each submission from around the world using the criteria listed on the website.

From there, winning solutions will be announced in three rounds.

Round 1 (April): The Top 50 teams will be announced.

Round 2 (June): After the top 50 teams submit their new and improved solutions, 10 finalists will be announced.

Round 3 (July): In the finale, the top 3 grand prize winners will be announced live on YouTube during the 2022 Solution Challenge Demo Day.

With a passion for building a better world, savvy coding skills, and a little help from Google technology, we can’t wait to see the solutions students create.

Learn more and sign up for the 2022 Solution Challenge, here.

From Idea to Impact: How a team from Solution Challenge launched an environmentally-focused social enterprise

Posted by Merve Isler, Regional Developer Relations Community Manager, Turkey

Banner with image of Aysu Keçeci, member of Google Student Developer Clubs chapter at at Bogazici University in Istanbul

Some challenges affect everyone regardless of borders or nationality, and combating climate issues is no different. Aysu Keçeci, a student in Turkey with an avowed reverence for the sea, found herself increasingly distressed by the growing amount of plastic in the world’s oceans. She notes, “As an Aegean, the seas are a big part of my life, Unfortunately, I have grown up observing that our waters are polluted daily, and I know that plastics now make up 80% of marine garbage, and if we don't take precautions, there will be more plastic in our seas than fish in 2050. That's why plastic pollution has always been a problem I wanted to address.”

As part of a global community, Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSCs) members are empowered to make an impact on the issues that matter both on the global and local scales. She decided to join the 2021 Solution Challenge, and took part in a local hackathon organized by the GDSC Solution Challenge Incubation Program. She and other GDSC members at Bogazici University on her team chose to create an app to encourage plastic recycling, never guessing it would lead to mentorship, guidance, and tools to launch an environmentally-focused social enterprise start-up.

Choosing the features and functions

When building the app, the team leveraged Flutter for its cross-platform advantages and used other Google tools such as Firebase, Firestore, Cloud, Maps, Fonts, and Analytics. In the app, users locate and open dedicated recycling bins by scanning a QR code or using a smartwatch or wristband. They can earn “coins” based on the amount of plastic they recycle and by engaging in challenges. Meanwhile, the app, called WE, displays tangible benefits to the environment from the users’ recycling efforts.

Encouraging behavior change with gamification

Aysu acknowledges that designing an app is one thing--bringing it into reality is another. Keçeci shares, “in real product development, user experience, ease of learning, and convenience become more critical than when you are designing a prototype.” To drive adoption, the WE App team chose gamification as a framework for the recycling app, looking to engage and motivate users by adding competition, social interaction, and feedback into the UI and help make recycling easy and fun. Aysu was particularly inspired by entrepreneur Colin Huang, who integrated gamification into Pinduoduo, an e-commerce company that encourages user collaboration.

From idea to impact

After three intense days of working at a feverish pace on little sleep, Aysu and the team presented their idea--which won the hackathon! The WE app then got selected as one of the top 50 projects in the Solution Challenge (with the support of Solution Challenge Incubation Program), landing the team special mentorship sessions with Google developers. This support on many levels led to their acceptance in one of Turkey’s top incubators: İTÜ Çekirdek İncubation Center, which offered a working space and exposure to the center’s network of companies and entrepreneurs. The project was also accepted into the Arya WIP Investment Preparation Acceleration Program, which supports women entrepreneurs, earning the team even more credibility and traction.

Perseverance makes all the difference

Aysu acknowledges that working with a small team of three developers can present new problems and opportunities every day--but support from Google mentors, jury members, and GDSC helps. “It's very bumpy, but it's been a journey that we've learned a lot about and enjoyed,” she says. The team is currently working with Borusan Mannesmann, one of the largest industrial companies in Turkey, to provide the app and bins to employees. They’re also competing in the semifinals of the İTÜ Çekirdek İncubation Center’s Big Bang Startup Challenge and talking with other potential corporate partners.

Looking towards the future

The team is already thinking about WE’s next stage. She and the other founders plan to redesign the WE bins to look more stylish and start producing simple products from the plastics collected, perhaps by partnering with innovative companies around the world that value sustainability.

“I've actually seen that people value living in a sustainable world. So it was surprising and gratifying for me to realize that they were ready to do something about it and take action because even people who did not recycle in the old status quo adapted very quickly.”

As she considers the progress she’s made so far, Aysu credits the GDSC’s culture of innovation, support, and feedback for playing a big part in WE’s creation and success. “You can quickly get involved in a community,” she says, “and thus you have a better opportunity to pursue things that excite you.”

Learn more about the activities and opportunities GDSCs offer and how to get involved.

Register your team for the Solution Challenge in January and make an impact.

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.”

________________________

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.

Solution Challenge Winner Update: Samuel’s mission to get children vaccinated in Uganda

Posted by Aniedi Udo-Obong, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Lead, Google Developer Communities

Samuel Mugisha has been very busy since we first shared his story in 2019. Back then, Samuel was a university student from Uganda who was inspired to create a mobile Immunization Calculator app to help keep track of children’s vaccinations after he saw his community using handwritten paper cards that were difficult to read and keep intact. Samuel kicked his idea into gear by forming a team with friends from GDSC Muni University, and they ended up winning the 2019 Google Developer Student Clubs Solution Challenge. The Solution Challenge is an annual event hosted by Google developers, inviting students from all over the world to develop solutions for local community problems using Google technology. Thanks to their win, Samuel and his team secured office space in Uganda and got up to speed with crucial tools like Android, Firebase, and Presto, with mentorship from some of Africa’s best at Google and other companies, as well as Google Developer Group community organizers.

Still, their project was in its earliest stages of development, and Samuel had a long way to go on the path to fixing a flawed healthcare system.

The immunization tracker’s progress

Fast forward to today, and Samuel and his team have made huge strides in building out the functionalities of their Immunization Calculator app. Lately, they’ve been working to increase the number of vaccinations the app can track and expanding to include other vaccines as well. These important updates will bring Samuel one step closer to his goal of increasing tracking and vaccinations of infants and children under a year old. Samuel and his team are also putting extra focus on improving functionality and user experience, making it easier than ever for parents to use the app to track their children’s vaccination status.

Vaccine tracking in-app

Thanks to the mentorship they received from Google Developer Experts as Solution Challenge winners, Samuel’s team was able to embed SMS messaging capabilities directly into the app. With this new functionality, the app now has the ability to remind parents to schedule their child’s next vaccine, and can provide accurate dosing information.

Vaccine reminder text alerts

In the app’s initial phase, the team relied on a simple user interface using NativeScript integrated to run on Gradle in Android Studio. Through mentorship, they found that implementing Kotlin instead was a more stable option that ran on most mobile devices. Since 2019, Felix Egaru, the core developer behind the project, has done a lot of work to add more features using Firebase. The app uses Firebase Authentication to authorize system users, Firebase Cloud Messaging to send push notifications, and Cloud Firestore to securely store user data. It also includes coverage and dropout rates, dosing instructions, and other important information thanks to Firebase. All of these new features let users access the data they need to make informed decisions about getting vaccinated. In a country with remote areas that have little to no internet access, Firebase’s offline capabilities have also proved vital for allowing healthcare workers to use the app in the field regardless of internet connectivity.

An app user joins the team

Despite all their progress, Samuel and his team still lacked the help they needed to get the app out into the world for real-time testing. Enter Kabagweri Fionah, a busy parent and small business owner who had started using Samuel’s app to keep track of her son’s vaccinations. She first discovered the Immunization Calculator app after seeing the Solution Challenge online and learning about the finalists.

Fionah immediately saw the app’s potential and knew that it could go a long way towards making a real difference in people’s lives, so she reached out to Samuel directly to see if she could join the team and help get the app out into the world. Not long after, Fionah was hired as a public relations officer, tasked with handling marketing, advocacy, and communications efforts to grow the app even further.

Kabagweri Fionah and Samuel Mugisha

Fionah joined the team at just the right time. Through her outreach efforts, Samuel and his team gained access to a local hospital in Kampala where they could actually put the Immunization Calculator to the test. Beyond just spreading the word, testing at the hospital helped them identify and fix bugs in the system and prepare their app for future, larger-scale testing. Recently, Samuel and his team reached an even bigger milestone. Thanks to Fionah’s persistence, the team was given an opportunity to deploy their project at the biggest health center in Kyegegwa District. Samuel and his team are currently working to raise funds so that they can complete a full year of system testing at the center.

Samuel at the health center in Kyegegwa District

As Samuel explains, Google Developer Student Clubs has helped his team get their foot in the door all along the way:

“Mentioning that the project was globally awarded by the GDSC program prompts someone's attention to listen to the innovation, and this has helped us during the pitching.”




Setting himself up for success

Samuel credits the Solution Challenge and Google Developer Student Clubs for helping him transform his brilliant idea into a life-changing application. He puts it best when explaining why winning the Solution Challenge was such a huge motivation for him and his team.

“It gave us a tremendous understanding of what we had on our laptops and how much it can save children's lives out there.”

Thanks to Google Developer Student Clubs, Samuel found a team of bold thinkers with the same passion to help others, and the drive to turn an idea into reality. Google Developer Experts were crucial in helping them bring the app’s functionalities to the next level. Samuel and his peers were given access to the tools they needed to grow: Coursera, Qwiklabs, Pluralsight, and Google Cloud credits to polish their development skills.

This year’s Solution Challenge Demo Day is right around the corner on August 26th, where the top 10 finalists will showcase their projects to Google and developers around the world live on YouTube for a chance to be named one of the final 3 winning teams. Samuel knows what the pressure feels like, and he’s got some great advice for the current finalists:

“Be the mastermind of your project and dwell most on the change or impact it can bring to the world. Not how big it is, or how expensive it is, or how technical it is. Success is not final and failure is not fatal. Identify what went wrong, correct and implement it, then prepare for another shot.”

Thanks to Samuel’s focus on the goal and drive to make a difference, he and his team are well on their way to making healthcare more accessible for Ugandans in his community and beyond. Google Developer Student Clubs are perfect for building solutions to help your community with other students who share your passion. Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to bring your best idea to life. Click here to find a Google Developer Community Student Club community near you.

Incarcerated people learn to code: How one community organizer is changing lives

Posted by Kubra Zengin, North America Regional Lead, Google Developer Groups

When asked to speak to a room full of incarcerated individuals about becoming developers, Danny Thompson didn’t bat an eye. Danny is an experienced software engineer and community organizer for Google Developer Groups Memphis.

But for the first ten years of his professional career, he worked in a gas station frying chicken. If anyone knows how to beat the odds and choose a different path in life, it’s him.

(Left) Danny Thompson working in a gas station (Right) At work in the tech industry

Danny Thompson is a big believer in the power of community. Over the years, he’s grown a vast network of thousands of aspiring developers, tech industry professionals, and career development experts through the Google Developer Group community and across social media. So it was no surprise when Danny was contacted to speak at an event hosted by Persevere, a non-profit that teaches justice-involved individuals how to code and helps them find careers as developers. By teaching skills like programming, Persevere has seen a decrease in recidivism rates. Through their job placement efforts, they are helping those that get out, stay out.

For Danny, signing up to help out was an easy decision. His biggest motivator in life is helping others succeed, no matter their hardships or where they come from.

“If someone wants to learn, that’s someone I want to help. Simple as that.”

In March of last year, Danny spoke to a room full of incarcerated people at the non-profit’s secure facility in Memphis, Tennessee. Incarcerated individuals from Tennessee prisons are brought to this offsite location for hands-on training with coding instructors. For hours, Danny taught Javascript concepts, gave career guidance, and shared his best tips for growing in the tech industry with program participants.

Thanks to Danny’s role as community organizer for GDG Memphis, he was able to share many learning materials that came directly from Google Developer Group events. Those enrolled in the program were also given access to Google Developer Group events online to help them learn new concepts and network with other developers.

Danny recognizes how difficult it can be for incarcerated individuals to reenter society without a helping hand and the skills they need to attain a well-paying job. As a result, many previously incarcerated people return to prison because they are unable to find employment and have higher chances of falling back into bad habits. But when they learn to code, recidivism rates drop dramatically.

Program participants continue learning at a transition center in Memphis, Tennessee

Anyone can be a developer

Danny knows what it’s like to not fit the mold of a typical developer. After working ten years as a fry cook at a gas station, he never considered that transitioning to a career in technology was even possible. However, everything changed for Danny when he began attending Google Developer Group meetups.

“There are zero chances I would have made it in this industry if it wasn’t for meetups.“

By networking with other developers, Danny gained the skills he needed to grow his early interest in coding into actual opportunity. Fast forward to today, and Danny is using his connection to Google Developer Groups to break barriers for anyone and everyone interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry. As an organizer for GDG Memphis, Danny designs mentorship opportunities with experts in the tech industry and hosts meetups that connect aspiring developers to hiring managers. Through opportunities just like these, Danny has helped over 600 people land jobs in tech, and he’s not stopping anytime soon.

GDG Memphis meetup event

“Your beginning doesn’t have to be your end. You do not have to be defined by the set of circumstances you’ve walked into.”

It’s never too late to join your local Google Developer Group. Learn new skills, advance your career, and meet other developers who share your interests. Anyone interested in tech is welcome, and joining is completely free.

To find your local chapter, click here.