AWS GetIT – inspiring girls to consider a career in tech
Just 25% of IT jobs are held by women today despite technology’s pervasiveness in our daily lives. Amazon Web Services (AWS) GetIT aims to redress the balance and drive diversity and inclusion in IT.
Future Foundations, an award-winning youth training organisation which designs pioneering training programmes and experiences for young people, teachers and adults, has worked collaboratively with AWS to develop and deliver the GetIT programme.
The competition has launched into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for the first time. Thirty eight schools have registered to take part – including schools in counties Dublin, Sligo, Down, Louth, Galway, Limerick, Mayo, Laois, and Roscommon.
”“We are proud to support AWS GetIT to launch in Ireland. We have seen amazing results in the UK, with over 100 schools taking part over the last three years. We are looking forward to working in partnership with schools and AWS, to inspire the next generation of students in Ireland to explore the power of technology and solve real world issues in their school or local communities”.Jonathan Harper, CEO of Future Foundations
AWS GetIT sees groups secondary school students aged 12 to 13 – particularly girls – designing an app that makes real, tangible social change within their school or local community. Along the way, participants learn practical digital and IT skills, experience working as a team, and gain self-confidence by presenting ideas to wider audiences – all while being exposed to IT as a potential career.
Throughout the competition students are supported by female leaders at AWS and Amazon – AWS GetIT ambassadors and volunteers – who deliver the virtual assembly, host and mentor students during bootcamps, and provide feedback and guidance on developing their application ideas in a fun and collaborative environment.
- Learn more about technology
- Meet and be inspired by women within the tech industry
- Feel more empowered to break down gender stereotypes
- Gain confidence and presentation skills
- Consider a career in the technology sector
The programme timeline
AWS GetIT runs throughout the school year, starting with a virtual assembly to launch the programme and inspire the prospective students. The assembly involves an AWS or Amazon female ambassador giving a talk that focuses on the wealth of opportunities that exist for women working in technology.
Following the assembly, students attend a virtual digital skills bootcamp where they learn about the different stages of developing software, including how to identify a target audience for their application, problem solving, brainstorming and research techniques, prototyping, and test and development.
From there, schools engage with ambassadors during a feedback session in the run up to the final submission deadline. Each school can enter up to two ideas into the competition. An AWS judging panel narrows the contenders down to 10 teams, with the finalists pitching their ideas in front of a wider audience at the AWS Summit – with an overall winner selected.
Click here to download an infographic timeline of the programme.
”“AWS Get IT provides a strong foundation from which students can grow and learn and makes digital skills accessible to students who may not have had the opportunity otherwise. In response to Covid-19, we have worked closely with AWS to adapt the programme and suit the needs of schools. We want to ensure young people can still access this transformational programme, with creation of virtual presentations, bootcamps and assemblies.”Emily Clark, Head of AWS Get IT for Future Foundations
Since AWS GetIT’s launch in 2018, the programme has captured imaginations and grown rapidly: by the end of 2020, AWS estimates that over 23,000 students from 136 schools will have taken part.
The sheer diversity of the competition submissions reflects the varied issues and pressures facing young people today. The most popular social issues covered in the 2019-20 competition were mental health and wellbeing (28%), followed by the environment (including climate change and recycling, 22%) and revision and studying (9%).
We’re excited to see what creative and innovative ideas the competing teams will come up with this year!
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About Future Foundations
Founded in December 2004, Future Foundations is an independent training organisation that aims to inspire young people to achieve their full potential and become leaders within their lives and in society. Its vision is a world where all organisations are led by socially conscious people, with every young person making the transition into adulthood with the foundations they need for their future.
We design and deliver pioneering training programmes and experiences for young people between the ages of 7 and 24 globally and for teachers and adults who want to inspire the next generation. We partner with leading organisations from the third, private, and public sector who share our vision and mission.
Working with over 20,000 young people in the last fifteen years, Future Foundations has delivered programmes for government departments, schools, colleges, universities and global companies.
Future Foundations was a winner of the Department for Education Character Awards 2015. In 2016, Chief Executive Jonathan Harper, FRSA, won the RSA Catalyst Award for commitment to supporting young people to achieve their full potential and in 2017 won the Enactus Alumnus of the Year global award, for exemplifying how entrepreneurial action for others can create a better world for all. In 2017, Future Foundations project managed a response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, working with Ark, the Aldridge Foundation and Kensington and Chelsea council, to organise a four-week summer programme of activities for young people living in the local community, who had been impacted directly or indirectly.