4 Week Competition for Young People

4 Week Competition for Young People

Category : News , Students

Just launched! … a 4-week competition – yes, with prizes! – for any upper-school or University teams to answer for their chosen area – city, town, region –  “Lockdown-2 – how deep, how long?” 

Teams will follow the simple classes in the COVID-19 modelling course then use the localisable COVID-19 model to explain how the outbreak has progressed in their area, assess the impact lockdown-2 needs to have on contact-rates, then estimate how the outbreak may progress from there – trying to avoid a 3rd wave.

Everything is explained and linked-to in the article at sdl.re/COVIDcompetition.


Covid 19 Localisation Modelling – Background

In March in response to what seemed to be a big gap in the Government’s strategy.  We founded The Covid 19 Localisation Modelling.  We are a volunteer organisation  with about 100 contributors with multidisciplinary expertise.   We have created this course so young people can learn about Covid 19 and how to manage it in Local areas.  We believe it is very important to get young people involved so we created a free online course to teach young people how to model the outbreak in local areas.   Localisation is very important because living conditions and the progress of the viral outbreak are very different in every neighbourhood:   St Johns Wood vs Hackney;  Finchley is vs Chelsea;  Ealing vs Marylebone — all different.  And that extends across the UK:  Bristol vs Manchester; Birmingham vs York, Brighton vs Hull, etc — all different.   Because of this we believe each local can reap big benefits from having its own localised strategy.  

The complication is while Government can declare lockdowns, the effectiveness is only as good as the compliance and here in the UK compliance is, well, bad.   The most difficult cases are areas where people simply do not have the resources to stick to lockdowns, that is genuinely tragic because as we have seen the BAME communities have been most affected, partly because of the need to keep generating income and this puts them in harm’s way.   Less upsetting but equally difficult is, frankly, people are getting weary of lockdowns and all the restrictions, especially young people.   We have analysed this in detail in dozens of locations including London and young people circulating more freely is a major contributor to why we have surge in cases now and why we are in a lockdown.

What can be done about this?   We believe engaging young people in the debate and the analysis instead of just dictating to them.  The evidence is this is a very powerful lever for positive change: we have seen it happen.   We have been working constantly on an initiative to help young people understand what is happening with Covid 19 in local areas and have had much success internationally.   

  • We are working with 3 student interns at MIT in Cambridge Ma USA through the MISTI and IAP programs.  They are currently evaluating Covid 19 management plans and the issue of coordinating term schedules with other universities using the migration structures in our model.  They will be working on scale up and AI/Machine Learning later.
  • A group of University students in Mumbai just published this article under our guidance
  • We are presenting at a career development panel for Gather, the alumni network for Junior Achievement on Thursday (Junior Achievement have 100million members)
  • We have been working with other students in Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Greece, Dominican Republic, Haiti and many cities in the USA.

A notable exception has been in the UK.   Although are engaged extensively with the NHS Analyst community and we have worked with a handful of students here in the UK we have not succeeded in scaling up the way we think would really make a big difference.

We want to try to change that so we have launched a UK Covid 19 Lockdown challenge for young people last weekend.   The competition runs for 4 weeks in step with the lockdown and will be judged by a panel of experts.  Prizes are being awarded for the best analysis in two age groups:  Secondary school age and post-Secondary School age up to 24.


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