STEM careers are rapidly growing and yet the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there won’t be enough computer science graduates to fill the demand. Amazon is looking to change that with a pivotal investment in students through its Amazon Future Engineer program.

Amazon announced it will fund computer science courses in more than 1,000 high schools across the country. This investment is part of the $50 million the company has pledged towards computer science and STEM education in the United States. More than 700 of those high schools are classified as Title I, meaning they primarily serve students from low-income communities.

photo: Courtesy of Amazon

“We want to ensure that every child, especially those from underprivileged communities, has an opportunity to study computer science,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer for Amazon. “We are excited more than 1,000 schools will now provide these courses, and look forward to adding 1,000 more schools over the coming months.”

The funding will provide for Intro to Computer Science and AP Computer Science classes through curriculum provider, Edhesive. This will include preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, curriculum for students and live online support for teachers and students. All students participating in the program will receive a free membership to AWS Educate, which provides them with free access to the AWS Cloud for their coding projects and tutorials on cloud computing.

“Our students are hungry for computer science education, but we could not get the funding to bring this class to our school,” said Chad Bobb, a teacher at Pike High School, a Title I school in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Amazon Future Engineer allows us to open our students’ eyes to something that is both interesting and can lead them into rewarding, thriving careers.”

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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