Using Amazon Kendra to help answer 10th standard science questions for my daughter ..

May 20 · 4 min read

This is a very short blog, with lots of screenshots and very less writeup.

Amazon Kendra from AWS, is a highly accurate and easy to use enterprise search service that’s powered by machine learning. Its biggest USP, according to me, is that it supports natural language search and returns the most useful/actionable results. It became generally available to everyone recently —

Well, here comes my requirement - with the COVID-19 epidemic looming large in our lives and most of us are working from home and also helping kids (or trying to help) with their studies ;-) My elder one has just started 10th standard and with my age catching up and declining grey matter, its very difficult for me to help her with core subjects like Science and I need help. When I saw what Kendra can accomplish, I wanted to try something quickly, and test whether Amazon Kendra can help answer some of her questions in Science using her CBSE board textbooks from 8th to 10th grade that are available from the CBSE board as pdf documents !!

Believe me, I never had to refer to the documentation and the AWS console is so intuitive. But if you need to, you can refer to the documentation at

Step 1:

There are no servers to configure, you just need to create an Index, use an existing IAM role or create a new role and there are a bunch of default settings ..

Creating an Index in Amazon Kendra
Starts creating an index

It takes sometime to create this index

Step 2

You need to specify a Data source, for me the data source was an S3 bucket. I created an S3 bucket (should NOT be public) and uploaded my pdf documents there. The science text books are available in pdf format at the NCERT website at

S3 bucket with the text books

In Kendra, you need to specify a Data source and in our case, its an S3 bucket. It currently supports several data sources including Amazon RDS and several other external Data sources as shown below.

Kendra Data Source
Specify the edition

and that’s it. The index needs to do the initial indexing, will take around 20–30 minutes or so ..

Step 3:

Once its done, you can now start using the Search console to start asking questions !!

The following are some screenshots with the questions asked by my daughter, Pavithra ..

On what factors does the resistance of a conductor depend?
How are fish obtained?
tell us something about italian bees?
What is pepsin?
formula for potential difference?
what is kinetic energy?

and the last question:

what kind of motion it is if an athlete is moving on a circular track?

and yes, Amazon Kendra saved the day for a dad like me ;-)

You can get more information on Amazon Kendra at !!

Stay Safe !!

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store