Amazon will offer introductory and Advance Placement computer science courses in more than 1,000 high schools. This effort is funded by the online retailer’s $50 million investment into computer science and STEM education program, Amazon Future Engineer.
Amazon announced Feb. 21 that it would make this program investment into schools nationwide, helping tens of thousands of students, according to Amazon. The company stated its funding provides full-year courses designed to inspire, prepare and propel students of all backgrounds to pursue a computer science education and career.
The Amazon Future Engineer program will serve students from low-income communities in more than 700 of the high schools participating in the program. Amazon states that the four-part Amazon Future Engineer program “works to inspire and educate 10 million children and young adults each year from underprivileged, underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science and coding”
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs,” Amazon said in a release. “Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8 percent of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a tiny minority from underprivileged backgrounds. Students from underprivileged backgrounds are eight to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.”
Chad Bobb, a teacher at Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, said the students at his school are hungry for computer science education, but the school could not get the funding to bring this class to its students.
“Amazon Future Engineer allows us to open our students’ eyes to something that is both interesting and can lead them into rewarding, thriving careers,” Bobb said.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) and Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said It is so important to ensure that every student in the U.S. has the opportunity to be well-prepared for the highly technical jobs of the present and future.
“I welcome initiatives such as the Amazon Future Engineer program that can increase opportunities for young people who have too long been underrepresented in STEM jobs due to race, gender, or socioeconomic status,” Johnson said. “I’d like to offer my congratulations to the schools in Dallas, and across the country, who have taken the lead in working to promote solutions to this issue by increasing access to computer science education.”
The courses will be offered through curriculum provider, Edhesive. Amazon’s funding provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live, online support every day of the week for both teachers and students.
Each year, Amazon Future Engineer, initiated in November 2018, aims to inspire more than 10 million kids to explore computer science; provide over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; award 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offer guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.
Schools, administrators, and teachers interested in applying to any stage of the Amazon Future Engineer program can apply and learn more here.