Earlier this year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) ran the GetIT competition, challenging students aged 13 and 14 to design an app-based solution to a specific problem for their community or school. Five students from Bishop’s Stortford College impressed our judges with their winning idea ConnectHearo, which transcribes teachers’ lessons into accessible notes for students with hearing impairments. ConnectHearo is inspired by team member Ibby, who has personal experience of hearing impairment.

Students sitting around a table at school in front of a bookshelf, being interviewed by a BBC presenter

AWS GetIT participants learned how to use cloud technologies before building up to creating an application that tackles a real-world problem.

Winners Ibby, Millie, Amy, Charlie and Zak will now see their idea turned into a reality as they work with AWS to build the ConnectHearo app. They were also invited to AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, where they learned how to build a chat bot with Amazon Lex, met one of the world’s leading Formula One technical consultants and spent time speaking to engineers from NASA. You can also read their personal highlights of AWS re:Invent here.

Andy Isherwood, vice-president and managing director for AWS EMEA, explained that AWS GetIT can be a powerful way to help young people gain an appreciation of the diverse range of career paths open to them within the technology industry.“ We want to make young people aware of the huge array of career opportunities available in the technology industry today, and show them they don’t have to be deeply technical to have a successful career,” he said.

“AWS GetIT highlights the many aspects of our lives that technology touches, and will introduce young people to a multitude of career options.”

Find out how your school or organisation can get involved today.