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Students find solutions to knife crime and youth violence using digital technology

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 January 2020

Barking & Dagenham College students at the Amazon Web Services project briefing. Picture: Barking & Dagenham College

Barking & Dagenham College students at the Amazon Web Services project briefing. Picture: Barking & Dagenham College

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Young people in the borough are exploring ways of using technology to help address youth violence and knife crime.

Barking & Dagenham College students at the Amazon Web Services project briefing. Picture: Barking & Dagenham CollegeBarking & Dagenham College students at the Amazon Web Services project briefing. Picture: Barking & Dagenham College

It's part of an eight-week digital challenge set by Amazon Web Services (AWS) for students from four Digital Career Colleges across the country, including 18 from Barking and Dagenham College.

The students, who are aged 16 to 20, were given their challenge in a project briefing session at AWS headquarters in London.

They're working in groups of six on one of three briefs, which were chosen from more than 500 ideas submitted in the first stage of the project.

The "live" task must be managed in the same way as any other real industry project.

The students will have two project meetings and a product design workshop with the client during the eight weeks, focusing on design, finance and the project plan.

The teams will return to the AWS offices in March to present their solutions to the panel of judges, with a range of prizes up for grabs for the winning teams.

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Joe Maya, 18, from Dagenham, who is studying IT, said: "I love gaming and my dream is to be a computer game designer.

"I want to get experience of working in a team and improve my presentation skills, so this project is perfect for me."

This is the fourth year the digital project has been run by the Career Colleges Trust with AWS.

Youth charity The Prince's Trust and the BBC have come on board as new partners this year.

Representatives from London Sport, Marylebone Cricket Club and UK Active are also on the judging panel.

The Prince's Trust project lead for youth violence Helen O'Connor said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for young people to develop confidence and skills for their futures, as well as have their voices heard on issues that affect their lives, such as overcoming youth violence."

The project aims to inspire the next generation of digital technology experts in the UK.

AWS head of UK and Ireland public sector Chris Hayman said: "Introducing young people to the latest and most innovative cloud technologies is critical for both today's workforce and the workforce of the future. We can't wait to see what innovative ideas they develop to support charities such as The Princes Trust in tackling problems affecting communities across the UK."


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