AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS Field Trip at re:Invent 2019 inspires local high school students to pursue cloud computing

Las Vegas high school students participate in the AWS Field Trip to learn cloud computing

Last week at AWS re:Invent, students from a local Las Vegas high school and students who traveled in from the United Kingdom (UK) participated in an AWS Field Trip to get inspired and excited to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers through a day of fun, hands-on engagements with technology.

AWS Field Trips are day-long sessions led by Amazon Web Services (AWS) team members that teach students about cloud technology through access to AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with the resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning, and activities that integrate AWS service.

At the field trip, students accessed AWS Educate resources to learn how to create their own Chatbot to order pizza using Amazon Lex as well as Amazon Polly and worked with Amazon Alexa to learn more about artificial intelligence (AI).

Teresa Carlson, leader of the worldwide public sector at AWS, spoke to the students about the importance of embracing a builder’s mindset. She urged students to think big about how they can use tools like AWS to invent new solutions to common challenges, and seize opportunities they see in the world. She said, “At AWS, we are always looking for builders. And in the public sector, we want to give our customers the tools they need to build solutions that deliver on their mission. By thinking big, being curious, failing fast, and embracing a diversity of thought, you can help us solve the next big challenge – whether that is to explore space, make better weather forecasts, or improve your own experiences as students.”

Tom Soderstrom, IT chief technology and innovation officer, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), spoke to students about the importance of the cloud and potential career opportunities. He discussed how open source environments enabled through cloud technology cultivate innovation and a democracy of ideas – since all can participate. After Tom spoke about how the Open Source Rover could students brainstormed ideas on how the Mars Rover could help solve challenges at home or at school.

Students then headed to the re:Invent Expo Hall with a scavenger hunt to learn more about AWS and the Amazon Web Services Partner Network (APN), as well as watch demonstrations at the AWS Developer Lounge, AWS Builders Fair, and Jam Lounge.

From Las Vegas to Ottawa to Delhi, the AWS Field Trips have gone global. Learn more about AWS Field Trips and AWS Educate.