Amazon is committing $50 million to computer science education in the United States with new programs supporting high school and early undergraduate students. Part of this includes financial aid to help schools bring AP computer science courses to their students. They have recently expanded this initiative into K-8.
The program has begun offering free online lessons and funding summer camps to help students discover the "fun" of computer science. Amazon critics might say this a just a kind of farm system for training new employees. Their efforts may benefit the company, but those students are probably more likely to work for other companies. And yes, I would agree that $50 million dollars is a lot of money, but not a lot of money when spread across the country's schools.
Students who start computer science early (and this seems to especially be true for females) are more likely to say they like computer science and have confidence in their computer science abilities.
I'm sure many people would write about this as another STEM or STEAM effort, but their materials talk about how positive it is for everyone to understand how computers (and that word means so many things besides the traditional laptop or desktop computer we talked about just 20 years ago) work and how they are programed.
Most students will not end up working as programmers or computer scientists, but that technology will touch the lives in and out of the workplace.
The program promotes how programming will aid not only the understanding of computers, but other technology and also a student's understanding of logic, precision and creativity.
Amazon Future Engineer Pathway is a partnership with organizations such as Code.org and Coding with Kids.
The Amazon Future Engineer Pathway program aims to support 100,000 high schoolers in taking Advanced Placement courses in computer science. It also is set to award four-year scholarships and internships to a sizable group of students from under-represented populations who participate in those courses.
Amazon is accepting scholarship applications for the 2019 campus and classes.
Schools and districts may also apply on behalf of families
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