(Courtesy of AMIT) A team from AMIT Bellows Ulpanat Noga High School, an innovative girls’ high school outside Beit Shemesh, Israel, won first place in Amazon’s AWS GetIT program.
AWS GetIT is an initiative designed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to inspire girls ages 12 to 13 to consider a career in tech, challenging long-standing gender stereotypes. Running between the fall and spring terms of the school year, AWS GetIT invites teams from different schools to an app-building competition to solve real issues faced by their school or community. Along the way, participants learn practical digital and IT skills, get 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.
The program in Israel, spearheaded by a partnership with the AMIT Network, is a national program across 30 schools. The eighth-grade all-girl teams at AMIT Bellows Ulpanat Noga created 12 applications; two of the teams advanced to the semifinals. One of the teams reached the national finals and had the opportunity to present at the annual AWS Summit Tel Aviv conference.
AMIT Bellows Ulpanat Noga High School is a thriving school. The girls who choose to study here come from Beit Shemesh and a number of small communities in the area. They are a heterogeneous group, coming from a range of socio-economic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The girls who attend AMIT Bellows Ulpanat Noga are offered a range of educational programs including English initiatives, hands-on science lessons, Torah research projects, outdoors art classes, as well as community involvement and extracurricular activities. Additionally, the school provides counseling to the students in the form of meetings and conversations with representatives of both Sherut Leumi and IDF units, so that the students can examine their options and choose the path best suited to them.
The school principal said: “We congratulate our eighth-grade students and their teacher Ruthi Berkeley, who accompanied them on their first-place victory in the national competition. We are especially proud of the process they went through and the skills they acquired along the way: entrepreneurship, collaboration, responsibility and creativity. There is no doubt they have the talent to be the next generation of leading women in Israeli high tech.”
The diversity of the submissions reflects the varied issues and pressures facing young people today. App concepts range from managing stress and mental health to encouraging consumption of recyclable products to planning to complete schoolwork.
For more information, please visit www.AmitChildren.org.