IN THE NEWS
President's Innovation Challenge names finalists
“There is an ever-growing desire among our students to collaborate on potential solutions to complex problems, and I look forward to seeing interest in innovation and cross-disciplinary problem-solving continue to thrive at the University for many years to come. [Drew Faust]
This year, more than 400 teams entered business plans in the competition, doubling the 2017 record of 200 teams. The finalists were selected by a committee of more than 100 judges with a wide array of industry experiences."
Students recruiting students into federal tech
"If I told you that over 850 college students -- many from top colleges such as Harvard -- have applied for tech internships in the government this summer, what would your reaction be?
If you're like me, your first thought would be, 'That can't be true.' How can the government, with its stodgy reputation, boring office spaces, lack of money to pay students -- and, generally, zero cool factor -- possibly compete with glamorous tech jobs in the private sector?"
Digital fellowship program is back and growing for 2018
"Building off last year's successful debut, the student-initiated Civic Digital Fellowship is back for 2018 — at more agencies, with more fellowship slots.
The fellowship — launched last April by Harvard students Neel Mehta, Athena Kan and Chris Kuang — hosted 11 undergraduates and three graduates from across the country at the Census Bureau for 10 weeks over the summer. The goal was to give qualified fellows the chance to work on technically intensive projects alongside federal employees, while also helping to solve government's woes in attracting young tech talent."
The Civic Digital Fellowship is coming back much bigger than before
"When Coding it Forward opened applications for its Civic Digital Fellowship on Dec. 9, it was immediately clear the team has been hard at work since they were last in D.C. The program that brought 14 college-age tech fellows to the U.S. Census Bureau in the summer of 2017 is set to be much bigger this coming summer.
In 2018, in addition to the program’s existing relationship with the Census Bureau, fellows will join the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and two civic tech partners — the OpenGov Foundation and Represently. And in contrast to the 14 fellows who joined last summer, the 2018 cohort will expand to between 30 and 50, Coding it Forward cofounder Chris Kuang told FedScoop."
A student-run solution to govtech skill shortages
"Government agencies, especially civilian ones, often lament the difficulty in hiring skilled young technology talent, with millennial computer science grads often opting for higher-paying private-sector opportunities.
From the perspective of young outsiders, the biggest challenge to government careers isn't the work or difficulty adjusting to a workplace that doesn't accommodate commonplace apps such as Slack and Google Drive. For many, it's simply getting into government and seeing firsthand whether they like it."
Demand for the first edition of Coding it Forward’s Civic Digital Fellowship surprises even the founders
"As recently as March, the precocious group of Harvard undergrads wasn’t sure it would work, but it did: Fourteen students are now in week nine of a 10-week internship at the U.S. Census Bureau as the first cohort of the Civic Digital Fellowship.
The idea was simple: What if we can find a way to get undergraduate computer science talent into interesting, meaningful tech internships in the federal government? Government internship recruitment, the comp-sci students found, isn’t targeted at them."
What's new in civic tech: Harvard students, U.S. government partner to address digital skills gap
"A nonprofit organization aimed at inspiring young people to use tech for social good is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to provide fully-funded data science and technology internships within the federal government.
This summer marks the beginning of the effort, which brought 14 interns from top academic institutions (think Harvard, MIT, Cornell and Duke, among others) to work at the Census Bureau."
Harvard students partner with U.S. government to address digital skills gaps
"Last fall, I really wanted a civic tech internship, so I turned down internship offers from companies like Facebook and Microsoft to find one. I must have applied to 30 government tech internships — but I realized very quickly that there were no government tech internships that were even close to Silicon Valley in terms of quality. I realized, more generally, that there are no on-ramps for helping young, socially-minded technologists get involved with the government."
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Harvard undergraduates launch fellowship to connect students early to federal agencies
"Not every tech-savvy student at an elite college is looking for a summer internship in Silicon Valley, and if an opportunity in government is the goal, Neel Mehta says attractive options can be scarce."
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Harvard students spin up gov-tech internship
"Thanks to the work of a tech group launched by three Harvard University undergraduate students, the federal government may be getting a summer tech and data science internship program analogous to those offered by Silicon Valley."