Local girls and boys with an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) were given an inspiring look behind the scenes of our Cambridge Development Centre during a special skills event last week. The event was organised in partnership with Robogals, an international student run organisation that aims to inspire and empower young women to consider studying engineering and related fields. The organisation offers interactive, engineering-based workshops for girls aged between 8-18 all around the world.

Twenty local teenagers attended the event and worked with the Amazon Cambridge team and Robogals to build a skill for Alexa—a capability that can be controlled or interacted with via voice.

The end product of their efforts were two new skills which will be added to the Alexa service. They are a Harry Potter inspired sorting hat skill which allocates Hogwarts houses to users, and a random number generator which gives a Fibonacci number when prompted. Both skills can now be accessed via our voice-controlled speakers, Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

Jenni Sidey from Robogals said: “It was fantastic to host such an innovative event with the team from Amazon in Cambridge and everyone involved on the day had a great time. From giving the local girls and boys a tour of the Amazon Development Centre to helping them develop an Alexa Skill with coding classes, the event provided a great mix of educational learning and real-world experience and I hope it inspires as many local teenagers as possible to embrace a future career in STEM.”

Before last week’s event, members of our Cambridge team also visited Robogals HQ to deliver a £1,000 donation, which will be used to purchase new equipment that will help the group continue its work in the community. The donation forms part of our Amazon in the Community programme where we support communities in and around where we operate in the UK to help children reach their potential in the digital world.

For more information on Robogals, visit their website: http://robogals.org/