On Wednesday 8th May, at the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Summit held at London’s ExCel, a team of 5 pupils from Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School were awarded first prize in the AWS Get | IT competition.
Since the Autumn Term, the group of Upper Third (Year 8) pupils have been developing an app designed to solve a real-life problem in their school or local community. The project, part of the Get | IT competition in which 130 schools have taken part, was launched by AWS to fill the digital skills gap in the UK, improve communication and inspire young people, (particularly girls) to consider a career in technology.
Following a bootcamp at the London offices of AWS in December, the team returned to develop their ideas and their presentation, which was formally submitted to the competition at the end of March. Just a couple of weeks later, the team heard their idea was one of the final 10 to go through to the annual AWS Summit.
At the Summit, the teams were split into two groups of five, with each team presenting their ideas to their group panel. Each panel then selected one team to go through to the Grand Final. The day was both exciting, tense and challenging but the final test was the Grand Final for which the Prep School team was incredibly proud to have been selected.
Presenting in a 1200 seat theatre, whose occupants included the other school team finalists and members of the ‘tech community’, the team explained how their app, ‘Connect Hearo’ could help to solve the problems of up to 45,000 moderately to severely deaf school children in the UK through the use of speech to text technology. The Grand Final judging panel included top tech personnel from AWS, Cancer Research UK, the Ministry of Justice and Deloitte. The app will now be developed and marketed by AWS.
Wendy Sharman, Director of Studies in the Prep School commented, “This has been an interesting and exciting challenge for the children. They have had to identify a problem and think carefully about how they might solve it using technology. They have learned an incredible amount and we are particularly proud of their achievements. We look forward to seeing the app available to those who will benefit.”