Asha Impressions 2024 was celebration at Amazon Chennai Office

Amazon Chennai hosted Asha Impressions 2024 at their World Trade Centre office at Perungudi near Chennai. More than 100 children and 25 teachers came from our Sangamam, Poorna Vidhya and Thulasi projects to present their projects. It was an enjoyable and educational outing for all.

Asha Impressions 2024

(Presentation & Programming Competition)

Asha Impressions is a competition organized annually to showcase the projects done by students in schools supported by Asha. We generally hold two Asha Impressions, the main one in Chennai for the teams from Thriruvallur, Villupuram and Chennai and another in Kayathar for teams from Thoothukudi.

We usually try to have the main Asha Impressions around the time the schools close. As the schools were closing early this year (on the 12th of April), we decided to hold the Asha Impressions on 16th April. Like last year, this year too Amazon Chennai team offered to host the event at their office in World Trade Centre, Perungudi on 16 April,2024.

Here is a report of the event. Click here view the photos from this event.


Asha Chennai is presently supporting 160+ schools in 10 districts of Tamil Nadu. At all these schools our computer teachers are teaching an 8-year Computer Science curriculum. One of the important aspects of our pedagogy is practical use of what is taught. Hence, children are required to use their learning to create and submit projects every year.

Children from Class 4 and 5 create presentations using Open Office and children from Class 7 and 8, develop Scratch programs. These projects are developed in teams and with the help of the Asha teachers who mentor them. This year we received 500+ presentations and 130+ programs for the Asha Impression competition held in Chennai. The volunteers then selected the best 17 Presentations and 11 Programming projects for the Asha Impressions competition.

Presentations & Scratch Projects

There has been a significant jump in the number of presentation and programming project submissions. Here are the number of submissions from our various projects.

ProjectsNo of schoolsNo of PresentationsNo of Programs
Sangamam (Thiruvallur)888720934934103
Thulasi (Villupuram, Thiruvannamalai)2626531321441
Poorna Vidhya (Chennai and vicinity)41073538
Pearl (Thoothukudi, Thirunelveli)22281172302771
Cauvery (Thiruvarur)4120600

Note that Cauvery and Pearl were not represented in this Asha Impressions. At the certificate schools we mandated that the team size be restricted to 4. Other than the newer schools in Poorna Vidhya and the schools in the new project Cauvery, in the rest of the schools the average team size dropped to less than 6. For a detailed description of “Certificate” schools and our broader vision with the project as an assessment tool, see the accompanying article on “CS Assessments”.

Selection Process and Training the Selected Teams

We rushed to have all the projects submitted by March 22nd. As there were a very large number of presentation and programming projects, we asked the lead teachers to do the first pass review of all the projects. They reviewed all the projects and brought down the number to about 75 presentations and about 35 programming projects. Venkat and I reviewed these projects on their technical merit, engaging content and aesthetics to select a final list of 17 presentations and 11 programs for the competition. This was announced on the 5th of April. The teachers had just a little more than a week to get their teams ready.

Teachers needed the week to explain to the children how to present their work to the judges, what kind of questions they may face from the judges and how they should answer them. Especially for young children in classes 4 and 5, this is a major challenge. They are not used to presenting their work to others. So, this makes for an interesting one week for the teachers and the students.

I also visited schools in Thiruvallur during this period. It was fun to see the children learning how to present their work. Their technical competence was mostly good and they were able to explain how they had done something in their presentation. I visited two schools on the 5th and then 7 more schools on the 12th of April. Here are some pictures for these trips.

Asha Impressions 2024 at Amazon Chennai

On the day of the event the teams from Villupuram and Thiruvannamalai districts left as early as 4:00. They had their breakfast and reached the Amazon office by 9:00 am. The 5 vans coming from various places in Thiruvallur, left by 7:00. However, the traffic near Perungudi got really bad after 9:00 and they could reach the Amazon facility only between 10:00 and 10:30. For most of the schools, a government teacher also accompanied the team.

The event was held in two locations within the Amazon office. There was a big conference room where the presentation competition was held and a smaller conference room where the programming competition was held. For all the children seeing the Amazon office housed in a 28 storey building from where they could see the sea some 2 Kms away was like a nice excursion. They enjoyed their outing. They were fascinated by the lift, by the coffee machine, by the hand-dryer in the toilet, etc. The volunteers from Amazon also played wonderful hosts, allowing the children to enjoy themselves. The grand staircase from the 18th to the 20th floors was a main selfie point. The lunch was also enjoyed by the teachers and the students alike.

Here are some pictures of the children enjoying the venue.

Presentation and Programming Competitions

The judges for the events were also Amazon volunteers. Some of the judges were there from last year. We were happy to meet them again. They could rebase themselves to the levels of the children and interact with them very well. It helped that most of the judges were comfortable in Tamil. The programming competition had 3 judges and the presentation competition 4 judges. However, after lunch as time was running out, the presentation competition was divided into two sections and two of the judges were managing each of the sections.

The criteria by which the judges were judging the projects was a little different from what the volunteers used to select the projects for the competition. The judges gave only 30% weight for the project itself, 30% weight for how the children were able to present or explain their project and 40% for Q&A. The Q&A typically involved asking the children to make some modifications to the presentation or program on the fly. Ultimately this was the main factor by which the best teams stood out. Here are some photos from the competitions.

Prize Distribution

After the competitions, the judges had the difficult job of deciding the winners. The prize distribution event started in a cordoned off area of their cafeteria in the 20th floor. All the Amazon volunteers and judges were also there. Initially the leaders from Amazon, Raj and Palani, spoke to the children. They were very interactive in their talks and engaged well with the children. They spoke about their own journeys and the values that can stand by the children through their lives.

Then there was a presentation by their “Ring” team and their Alexa team showing the technological innovations made by Amazon. These would inspire the children to also dream of such products. Asha got an opportunity to thank the volunteers of Amazon, the judges and the leaders with handmade gifts from our children from Seeyapoondi in Villupuram district.

Then came the most anticipated event of the evening. The judges of the presentation and programming competition spoke about the competitions and announced the winners. Judges from both the competitions expressed how impressed they were that such young children and that too from underprivileged backgrounds could do such good work and confidently explain their ideas and do quick technical work to answer the questions posed to them. They also expressed how they had to struggle to select the winners in the competitions when all the teams performed so well. The list of winners for the presentation competition were,

First PrizePUPS AmmambakkamGames to Learn English
Second PrizePUPS Thomur7 Ulaga Athisayangal
Third PrizePUPS Mambakkam Periya ColonyGame World
Consolation PrizePUPS AN KandigaiFruits and its Benefits


The winners of the programming competition were,

First PrizePUMS RamanjeriAeroplane Tour
Second PrizePUMS SoolaimeniAction Words
Third PrizePUMs OthappaiShapes Rangoli
Consolation PrizePUMS ThorappadiSolar System


After the announcement of the winners, the top teams from Ammambakkam and Ramanjeri presented their projects once again from the stage for everyone to see.

Then after receiving packed snacks, all the teams left for their homes. Some reached their home as late as midnight but were happy for the experiences. The children and teachers, all of them uniformly appreciated the way the event was organized, the food, the venues for the competition, the snacks etc. In particular they were very appreciative of the gentle and understanding way in which the judges interacted with the children. The volunteers and judges from Amazon were also very appreciative of the work done by the children. On the whole we were happy to wrap up another successful edition of Asha Impressions.

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