A Google Developer Student Club at the London School of Economics (LSE) has attracted 1,600 members, making it the largest of over 1,100 such clubs in the world.

The clubs are open to all university students with an interest in Google developer technologies, providing an opportunity to increase knowledge in a peer-to-peer learning environment and build solutions for local businesses and their community.

Currently there are 140 Google Developer Student Clubs in Europe, with a total of 820 projects being worked on by club members globally.

The LSE club has been led by Jack Lee, a Politics and Economics student, who has built it to 1,600 members in just six months.

Through the programme, students are able to provide resources to low-income households to help them break into technology even without a technology degree.

He said: “The Google Developer Student Club at LSE has been a great opportunity to have an impact on the local tech scene.

“In leading the club, I’ve wanted to appeal to both computer science students and those with a non-technical background, and I’ve pulled together an additional team of student leaders to inspire more students with different backgrounds to join.”

The clubs provide a good opportunity for students to meet other students on campus who are interested in developer technologies.

Through hands-on workshops, in-person training and project-building activities, a wide range of new skills are gained.

At LSE, Jack has focused heavily on partnerships, connecting members with leaders at top companies and other student groups from countries including Scotland, France, Norway, Canada and Nigeria.

With support from Google for Startups, the LSE club established relationships with startups, NGOs and financial firms, who each contributed to almost 30 events throughout the academic year, including introductory Python courses, mentorship sessions, networking events, talks with CEOs and industry panel talks.

Jack added: “I’m particularly proud to have helped connect 150 students to mentors from different startups, and I’m determined to keep building the community in order to continue the profound impact it is having on my fellow students.”

Some club members formed teams to solve problems for one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

As part of the Google Developer Student Clubs’ 2021 Solution Challenge, LSE students developed prototype solutions for NGOs on wildfire analysis using TensorFlow, raising donations and grant access, and increasing voter registrations.

Through the programme, students were able to develop solutions using machine learning, weather data and satellite imaging to predict wildfires in real time.

Other technology solutions included apps that track donation transactions to measure impact on communities and a camera that scans your fridge and notifies you when food is about to expire to prevent food waste.

Alongside Google, McKinsey and Fidelity International, club members were able to bring these projects to life and contribute to academic research.

For more information about joining a club, visit Google Developer Student Clubs.

Watch an explainer video about Google Developer Student Clubs here.

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