Young problem solvers from Amazon Future Engineer Program awarded at ‘Hack to the Future’ Hackathon in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, June 12, 2024: Amazon India in collaboration with its non-profit partner Quest Alliance awarded the winners of the ‘Hack to the Future’ Hackathon in Bhubaneshwar, today.  27 students from government secondary schools of Cuttack, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, and Rayagada districts participated in the state-level hackathon to develop innovative solutions addressing local issues around gender, disability and climate change. The platform also enabled young people to exchange ideas, gain hands-on experience with different technologies and understand multiple STEM-related career opportunities. All students were felicitated with a certificate and awarded titles like inclusion champion, innovation champion, green champion, tech champion according to the prototypes they built. The hackathon was organized as part of the Amazon Future Engineer Program being run in Odisha, impacting 3.7+ lakh students across 1700+ schools in over the last two years.

Participants at the hackathon presented their projects to a distinguished panel including Mr. Amarjit Jena, CEO, Mo School Abhiyan Parichalana Sanghathan; Prof Rajesh Roshan Dash, Dean, Student Affairs Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar; Mr. Aakash Sethi, CEO, Quest Alliance; Ms. Neha Parti, Director-Schools, Quest Alliance and Akshay Kashyap, Lead, Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon India. Among the attendees were school students, teachers, non-profits and government officials.

The Amazon Future Engineer program curriculum equips students to address real-life challenges faced by the communities, and learn computer science coding, demonstrating the program’s impact in empowering young minds to become problem-solvers and innovators. Through hands-on learning experiences, students gain valuable insights into the world of computer science and its potential to make a positive impact.

Akshay Kashyap, Lead, Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon India underscores Amazon’s dedication to equipping all students, especially those with limited opportunities. “In Odisha, Amazon Future Engineer Program in partnership with Quest Alliance has been working with the Government schools, enabling students to learn computer science and ignite their curiosity, foster problem-solving abilities, and open doors to careers of the future.”  He further emphasizes the crucial role of educators, stating, “Educators who embrace bringing computer science into their classrooms are key agents of change. We express our deepest gratitude to the teachers and administrators of Odisha and our partners for this collaborative effort.”

The hackathon culminating today ran over the last six days where the students made the prototypes, practiced mock pitches and set up the exhibits. Ultimately, a final round of inter-state hackathons between Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Jharkhand will be conducted in Bangalore where students will further innovate the products.

Md. Azim Ud Dola, Senior Program Manager, Schools Program, Quest Alliance, said, “We aim to empower young students to develop innovative solutions for current challenges by creating functional prototypes that can be pitched as viable future products. We want to broaden students’ understanding of career opportunities in STEM fields by engaging them with industry experts and participating in activities that help them identify potential career pathways.”

Amazon introduced the Amazon Future Engineer Program in India in 2021 and has partnered with several education-focused non-profit organizations, including Quest Alliance, Leadership for Equity, Code to Enhance Learning and many others to take computer science education to more than 10,000 schools in India in the past two years. As a childhood-to-career program, Amazon Future Engineer Program offerings start with primary schooling and continue through secondary into career. Under this program, Amazon has also offered scholarships and internships to girl students interested to make a career in the tech industry. Throughout, Amazon partners with organizations that share its mission and create opportunities for students to discover the richness of computer science through intersections with self-expression, social justice, sustainability, and more. Through this program, computer science education has reached to over 1.5 million students and 8,000 educators across the nation in the past two years.

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