Amazon expands computer science education efforts

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Amazon expands computer science education efforts

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/15/2020

Amazon is more than doubling the reach of its Future Engineer initiative.

Amazon is adding more than 3,000 schools across the U.S. to the Amazon Future Engineer computer science education program. Amazon Future Engineer is now available in more than 5,000 schools, benefitting over 550,000 students in need. Nearly all Amazon Future Engineer schools serve a student body with a significant percentage of students from groups currently underrepresented in computer science and tech, hundreds of schools are rural, and more than 80% are Title I schools.

The e-tail giant’s funding will support more than 1,000 elementary schools and more than 4,000 middle and high schools with computer science courses, online support, and teacher professional development. Amazon employees are volunteering virtually in Amazon Future Engineer classrooms, talking to the students about the importance of their own computer science eduvation.

Amazon Future Engineer also launched the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge – a free, virtual coding competition that teaches students the basics of computer science in the context of a real-life industry challenge. Teachers from Title I schools who complete this competition will also be eligible for free, expanded virtual robotics lessons.

In addition to supporting computer science education, the company has donated more than 13,000 laptops to students in need, and launched free, virtual computer science resources for thousands of students. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon Future Engineer coursework can be done virtually.

“The start of this new school year is unlike any before, with students, parents, and teachers adjusting to remote learning,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer, Amazon. “This is a challenge for all students, but particularly those from underserved and underrepresented communities. We are hopeful that our Amazon Future Engineer coursework, which adapts easily to a virtual setting, will continue to equip these hard-working students with the skills they’ll need—and that society will need—for a bright future.”