We are delighted to share that Isi Holdom has been named winner of the 13-14 age group category of Amazon’s inaugural Alexa Young Innovator Challenge after designing an Alexa Skill that could educate people about plastic pollution in the UK.
Isi’s entry was selected by a judging panel including STEM advocate Carol Vorderman, computing prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, YouTuber and computer science graduate Tobi Brown, and Lauren Kisser, Amazon Technology Director.
Isi created Waste Wizard, an Alexa Skill to promote a better understanding of recycling. Isi’s solution would see Alexa providing detailed guidance on exactly which plastics can be recycled in different UK regions, and how.
In speaking about her creation, Isi said: “It is really confusing to know how to recycle different plastics properly. I know some councils provide a lot of information and I just wanted to help people on a bigger scale with understanding how to get it right. Alexa is a really accessible way to do this and I hope one day to see my skill in practice.”
To enter the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge, students across the UK were invited to follow a free online learning programme with curriculum-linked lesson plans and resources, created by Amazon to support the development of AI learning in UK classrooms and STEM clubs.
“We were blown away by the innovation and imaginative thinking that was evident in many of the entries we received for the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge,” said Lauren Kisser, Technology Director at Amazon and UK Ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer. “The challenge forms part of our Amazon Future Engineer programme, designed to upskill young people in Artificial Intelligence and computer science, and inspire them to consider a career in STEM. If more young people like Isi play an active part imagining ways AI can be used to tackle social issues in their communities, just think of the good that technology could achieve in the future.”
As one of winners, Isi will receive £2,500 of tech prizes from Amazon. As a school, we will also receive a donation of £2,500 which will be used to purchase technology to support our bursary students’ studies.
Further information about the challenge can be found here.
Congratulations once again to Isi – what an incredible achievement!