The AWS GetIT programme gives students access to a curriculum designed to help build foundational skills, learn about cloud tech, and design app ideas to solve real-life problems. Schools are paired with a dedicated AWS GetIT Ambassador, who supports the school and educator and acts as a role model for students.
After completing the programme curriculum, schools can submit a student app idea for consideration in a countrywide AWS GetIT competition.
This year, three schools were brought to the AWS GetIT final which took place at the AWS offices in Dublin. The teams in the final presented their ideas to a judging panel of people working in the tech industry.
The finalists were invited to present their app ideas on the day and answer questions surrounding their design thinking cycle, teamwork, the issue they are tackling, and the technology they will use.
The finalists were:
1. Focus by Bishopstown Community School, Bishopstown, Co. Cork
“Our app is aimed at making driving safer. It is a known fact that drivers continue to use their mobile phones while driving despite warnings of the dangers such as penalty points. We are aiming to make driving safer by offering an app that will be in the hands of the driver so that they do not need to lose focus and concentration while driving.
2. Renew Bottle by Coláiste Abhainn Rí, Callan, Co. Kilkenny
“Our app will connect to a reusable water bottle, enabling the user of the app to track hydration and how many plastic water bottles they’ve saved.”
3. Plant IT by Our Lady's School, Terenure, Co. Dublin
“Our app was designed to help solve the ongoing problem of biodiversity loss in Ireland. In our growing society, there seems to be less and less room for biodiversity, and so we are creating space... in our gardens!”
Mike Beary, AWS Country Manager in Ireland said: “I am delighted to see excellent entries from students and their teachers across Ireland in the AWS GetIT competition once again this year. AWS GetIT is a worthy initiative that allows students to get face-time with Ambassadors, who are successful women and non-binary people working in AWS. Over the last number of years, students in Ireland have been empowered to develop new skills through this competition. I hope that these skills inspire new interests and encourage young people of Ireland, particularly girls, to consider STEM for their future careers.”
Carmel Owens, CEO of Sidero & GetIT Judge said: “The AWS GetIT competition is a wonderful opportunity for schools and young people to bring tech to the classroom. Great credit is due to the teachers and students and their AWS Ambassadors for the very high standard of the competition today and I am delighted with the opportunity to meet such a talented group of young people – the future is bright for the tech industry in Ireland!”
Lesley Porter, Teacher at Our Lady’s School, Terenure said: “It has been a great experience, for our school, being involved in the AWS GetIT programme and competition this year and we are delighted that our Plant IT team has been selected as one of the finalists. The students are thrilled and excited to have made the final. Taking a real-world problem that is important to them and working to create an app to improve this issue has been a fantastic experience for them. The students enjoyed the teamwork, design process, and working with Laura, our AWS GetIT Ambassador.”
Kate Hodgins, Teacher at Bishopstown Community School said: “Our students are delighted to reach the final stages of the competition. There was great excitement in school as the students prepared their final submission. The team have stated that ‘they enjoy working together as a team to overcome problems and find solutions. We enjoyed researching statistics, watching the initial idea come together to our final submission and presenting our idea to our teachers and classmates’.”
Lorna Cody, Teacher at Colaiste Abhainn Rí said: “The AWS GetIT programme has been an extremely rewarding initiative in our school this year. It encourages students to consider a career in technology when they leave school. All 124 of our first-year students participated in the programme. They worked in groups of 3-5 students and brainstormed to develop an app to help resolve an issue in their community. The students developed their teamwork skills, and it was also an excellent way for the first-year students to foster new friendships.
“The students enjoyed the hands–on approach that this initiative offers, they developed their computer skills, and their confidence grew from presenting their app to their peers, teachers, and AWS judges.
“Our AWS Ambassador has been a huge support throughout the year, she offered our school workshops and the students grew in confidence from all the positive feedback she offered.
“While all our first-years enjoyed the programme, for our four first-year students that reached the final in AWS Dublin, it will be an experience they will never forget.”
Congratulations to the winner of AWS GetIt 2023, Coláiste Abhainn Rí, Callan, Co. Kilkenny; and to Bishopstown Community School, Co. Cork and Our Lady's School, Terenure, Co. Dublin, who were named as runners up.