Tata Consultancy Services challenges university students to solve local charities’ IT challenges.
Earlier this year, students from four universities teamed up with local charities to help overcome IT challenges. Groups from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of East Anglia, University of Bristol and University of Edinburgh had just eight weeks to come up with a solution for the Tech Challenge competition, part of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) IT Futures initiative to inspire young people to choose STEM careers.
The challenges the charities set varied massively and the students were from backgrounds as diverse as computer science, politics, history, business, chemistry and classics.
“There is a growing gap between in the number of STEM skill graduates required in the UK and the numbers that are graduating from our universities,” says Shankar Narayanan, Country Head, TCS UK and Ireland. “At TCS, we believe technology vendors have a responsibility to get more young people choosing STEM careers. Working directly with young people at all levels of education we have found there is great passion for technology, which we hope to turn into the next generation of STEM professionals.”
Following two months of intensive work the team from University of East Anglia claimed victory for their work with Beat, a nationwide charity supporting people affected by eating disorders. The team’s brief was to extend the reach of its existing advice and support website, particularly in view of a dramatic rise in the number of users accessing the site via their mobile phone.
The team created plans for ‘one beautiful app’ that would help users find a healthy pathway to independent recovery. They ran testing and got feedback on a range of functions dealing with healthy lifestyle, inspiring stories, a newsfeed, book reviews and a help finder.