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5 UMD Student Projects Fighting Against COVID-19

As the nation's first Do Good Campus, The University of Maryland community has come together to support students, address crucial issues, and tackle this unprecedented virus head-on. Our campus - from students, teams, faculty, alums and more - are taking action, ensuring resources are provided to those who need it most.

Despite so much being unknown, we know one thing for sure: our community continues to grow and make positive impact, even in the face of uncertainty.

Here are some highlighted student projects combating the COVID-19 Pandemic!

1) Chat Health is a nonprofit organization founded by UMD students with the goal of utilizing novel technologies to improve the accessibility and uptake of preventative health resources for students. Currently, they are working with the University of Maryland to build an SMS-based chatbot to answer questions about healthcare services offered on and off-campus for UMD students.

With the urgency of COVID-19 and the importance of accurate information provision, they are now providing resources for users to stay healthy during this pandemic. Their web-platform allows users to access critical information about COVID-19 via Twitter news feeds, Q & A pages, resource documents, and two AI Chatbots which will automatically answer questions relating to diagnosis, testing, prevention, and resources to students affected by COVID-19.

2) Edullo is a company by students for students to level the education playing field.

During this time of remote learning, they understand that it can be hard for students to keep up with the curriculum and study for the standardized exams coming up (such as AP and IB programs), so they have created a program to help supplement hardworking teachers. Students across the world, from medical schools to MBA programs, have teamed up to bring you FREE virtual “office hours”. Live streams will be on discord over a variety of topics and times.

3) United2Heal (U2H) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that collects excess medical supplies from local hospitals and clinics and ships them to countries in need.

With COVID-19 changing the ability to work with hospitals, group members have temporarily shifted and are sewing homemade face masks to donate to Anne Arundel Medical Center, whom they are working closely with. 

4) Invisible Hands The Do Good Institute is consulting with Invisible Hands, a NYC based non-profit initiative that formed in response to COVID-19 to offer delivery of groceries, prescriptions, and other general errands for the elderly, immunocompromised, or otherwise at-risk individuals.

In the 3 weeks since its inception, they have recruited 10,000+ volunteers and completed 2,000+ deliveries in NYC and have been covered in a variety of news outlets (NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Vogue's Heroes and Heroines, NPR, Fox and Friends, Good Morning America, and more).

Invisible Hands is expanding efforts to serve communities nationwide and they are planning to launch in DC on April 20 with DGI's help

5) Rendered Inc. UMD student Saba Tshibaka, founder of Rendered Inc (Fall ‘19 Mini-Grant team), a social impact business that raises awareness about the environmental impact of the apparel industry and runs a thrift clothing business, is posting on their blog about coronavirus impacts on the fashion industry and creating a #CleanYourCloset challenge as a positive activity to do while staying home. Rendered, Inc. is also now producing facemasks and DIY mask kits for people who would like to make their own. 

Extra pick: UMD's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department has shifted gears and trained grad students who are using polymer fiber technology to make face masks to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

Associate Professor Dongxia Liu and Assistant Professor Chen Zhang and trained graduate are also using their chemical smarts to make hand sanitizer or what they like to call, "Terpsanitizer." (Shown in featured picture) UMD-related information from the Do Good Institute @ UMD

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