From education to employment

Creative IT students find winning digital solutions to deal with Covid-19

young woman in a covid mask on her phone

@BMetC – IT students from BMet’s Matthew Boulton Career College have found the “winning digital formulas” to help people cope with the adverse and challenging effects of Covid-19.

Using creative and presentation skills, the annual 12-week project with AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Careers Colleges, gave the level 3 technology lovers the opportunity to find a real solution to the pandemic’s impact.

Sheer hard work and determination resulted in the college students officially taking the lead in award wins at the fifth annual digital project ceremony, which this year took place virtually in June.

Three groups of six – named “Adaptation for the Nation”, “Mepet” and “Safejoy” took part in the innovative challenge. The teams competed against FE institutions around the UK to be crowned winners in seven categories including “best overall group.”

Their specific task was “to use the positive power of technology to promote an understanding about the mental and physical effects of COVID-19 on your age group and how it impacts your concerns about your future. Promote solutions in relation to your age group and the community.”

Speaking of the organisation of the project, Jan Myatt, Vice Principal at Matthew Boulton College said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to be involved in such an innovative opportunity, enabling students to play their part in making a real difference to an important cause.

“The project was managed and run in the same way as any other ‘real’ industry project. Each student team appointed a project manager, alongside having project meetings and several workshops with the client. Key areas including design, digital marketing, networking, finance and project planning were a real focus during the task.” 

The team’s initial success came when they were shortlisted to present their solutions to judges virtually and Career Colleges digital director and AWS digital skills advisor, Julia Von Klonowski live in May. The opportunity enabled the students to showcase their solutions – both professionally and personally – alongside other UK based college groups.

The champion BMet teams were then crowned the official overall winners at the final virtual ceremony…beating off stiff competition from fellow students and gaining a record seven awards.

As well as obtaining the coveted “Best Overall Group” award, Mepet, also received the “Best Presentation” award. “Adaptation for the nation” were also recognised after obtaining the “Best Solution” award.

Individual team members from the BMet groups were also the recipients of the “best reflection awards”, “the Alan Livett Award” and the “Career College Student Award”. To top it all off, the student’s IT tutor, Fredericka McFarlane, was presented with a “special award” for her efforts for motivating the students and co-ordinating all the activities.

Speaking of their award wins, the victorious students had the following to say:

Elijah, who won the “Career College student award” said: “Getting this top-class prize means so much to me. As the team’s project manager, it was so very important for me to integrate the group and strive for a winning solution that exceeded expectations.”

Socrates, who won the “Best Reflection award” said: “I was pleasantly surprised to win this award and it has given me a lot of confidence. In my presentation, I tried to be honest with the audience when sharing my personal experiences with the impact of Covid-19, and it seems that people were able to either understand or relate which means a lot!”

Lehal, who won “the Alan Livett award”, as well as winning awards with his group for “Best Presentation”, “Best Solution” and “Best Overall Group” said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to lead “Mepet” as a project manager, as we all worked collectively to achieve fantastic results. Everyone in the team played a part in our success and I am proud that we were able to persevere despite our personal challenges.”

80, 16-18-year-old students, from colleges including BMet, Barking & Dagenham, Coleg Gwent and USP, were able to take part in the special digital project. It was supported by key leading organisations including The Prince’s Trust, Barnardos, HSBC and the BBC.

Julia Von Klonowski, Digital Director at the Career Colleges Trust and architect of the AWS Project, said: “As ever, the students blew myself and the other judges away with the high quality of their projects.  This has been such a tough 18 months for so many young people and remaining focused on their education, particularly with so much virtual learning, has not been easy.

“However, we have seen remarkable commitment, courage and determination throughout.  Of course, it is a shame that we couldn’t bring everyone together in London in the usual way, but the power of technology has certainly enabled us to celebrate and reward the students’ hard work and resilience.”

To find out more about BMet’s Career College opportunities, please visit:

Related Articles