Through the free initiative, students aged 12 and 13 will attend virtual bootcamps on cloud computing and digital skills.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is hoping to get second-level students in Ireland curious about careers in tech by helping them to develop their own app ideas.
The AWS GetIT competition is aimed at students aged 12 to 13 across the country, particularly girls. They will design an app-based solution to a problem their community or school currently faces. The goal is to teach them practical and digital skills in areas such as cloud computing.
This year is the first time the GetIT programme has been rolled out in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is free to take part and 38 schools have already signed up across a number of counties, including Dublin, Down, Galway, Limerick, Laois and Roscommon.
“The aim of AWS GetIT is to introduce girls to technology and help them learn new skills, and to make them aware of the huge array of career opportunities available in the industry today,” said AWS Ireland’s country manager, Mike Beary.
Students who take part in AWS GetIT will attend virtual digital-skills bootcamps. These will cover the different stages of software development, such as identifying a target audience for the application, problem solving, research techniques and testing.
AWS staff will host and mentor participants during the bootcamps and guide them as they work on their app ideas.
Niamh Finnegan, an operations manager at the company, is an ambassador for the programme. Speaking about her own career, she explained the challenges she faced in realising where her strengths could be best utilised.
“AWS introduced me to a role that I didn’t even know existed,” she said. “That ignited my passion for technology and made me proud to be an engineer. Now I’m committed to working with schools and young girls to show how varied and cool technology careers can be.”
Of the teams taking part in the competition, AWS will shortlist 10 to present their apps to a judging panel. The winning team will get to work with AWS for a day, workshopping how they would bring their app idea to life.
AWS has collaborated with youth training organisation Future Foundations to develop the GetIT programme. More than 100 schools have taken part in the programme in the UK over the last three years.
Beary added: “To support Ireland’s digital transformation journey we need to encourage more students to study technology at school … [AWS GetIT] demonstrates that you don’t need to be deeply technical to have a successful career in tech.”
Learn more about AWS GetIT and how to take part here.