Calling all future engineers! Amazon and the FIRST robotics program recently announced new grant funding to expand access to robotics clubs, computer science education, teacher professional development and even a tour of a local Amazon fulfillment center.

The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant will provide funds to 100 schools across 21 states (in underserved areas), including $10,000 to expand access to in-school computer science education. The mentor-based programs will help kiddos in kindergarten through twelfth grade to build STEM skills that will benefit them now and for years to come. The robotics-based grant adds to the existing funding Amazon provides through its Future Engineer program.

photo: Courtesy of Business Wire

So how exactly is the Amazon Future Engineering Robotics Grant changing the lives of students? According to Dave Levin, co-founder of KIPP Public Schools in Columbus, Ohio, “The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant is a game changer for middle and high school students throughout 53 KIPP schools around the country.” Levin also added, “The generosity of Amazon will ensure more KIPP students than ever will have the opportunity not only to pursue successful careers in STEM, but help diversify the industry for future generations.”

Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and president of DEKA Research & Development, said in a press statement, “Amazon is helping FIRST in our goal to make robotics teams and programs available in every school.” Kamen went on to say, “In FIRST, every kid on every team can go pro. They gain a hands-on learning pathway in technology, computer science and engineering that propels them forward and inspires innovation.”

The Amazon Future Engineer program started in 2018, using a four-part childhood-to-career model. Through annual grants the program aims to inspire and educate over 10 million children, providing a projected total of 100,000 students in more than 2,000 high schools access to computer science classes as well as 100 $10,000 four-year college scholarships!

—Erica Loop



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