AWS announces $50M investment to computer science education
As part of Amazon’s $50M commitment to Computer Science (CS) Education, students now have access to Advanced Placement (AP) CS course offerings, scholarships, and early college internships through the Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) Pathway.
Source: Amazon Future Engineer Pathway
With cloud computing ranked as the #1 LinkedIn skill for two years in a row and with millions of employment opportunities currently available in the cloud, the AFE Pathway provides students an opportunity to learn in-demand skills at a young age, setting the stage for a future cloud-enabled workforce.
The Amazon Future Engineer Pathway creates accessible learn-to-work opportunities for students through three key steps:
Edhesive AP CS courses with cloud computing content and access to AWS Educate
College tuition scholarships
Amazon Future Engineer internships in software engineering
Step 1: High School students can get started on their CS education pathway with AP CS courses and AWS Educate
The Amazon Future Engineer Pathway begins with the AP CS courses where high school students will learn about cloud computing. The courses are a collaboration between Edhesive, an online AP CS curriculum provider, and AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students the resources needed to learn cloud skills. Teachers who are interested in providing the AP CS Java or the new AP CS Principles course can apply here through July 2018. Although teachers and district leaders are encouraged to apply on behalf of their students, individual students can also apply as independent learners.
The Amazon Future Engineer Pathway team will select the eligible schools and students who will receive financial aid to access the Edhesive AP courses. Edhesive will engage with the selected schools and students in the spring of 2018 to onboard and launch for the fall 2018 school year.
“One of the root causes for the computer science shortage is that there are not enough teachers with subject knowledge to teach a class. That’s why we built our courses in a way that offers intensive student and teacher support–meaning teachers don’t have to be computer science experts,” said Emily Grad, co-CEO of Edhesive. “As a result, our course structure has led to a pass rate above the national average on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Computer Science exam.”
All students participating in an AP CS course will be guided to register with AWS Educate, giving them free access to training on cloud computing and applied learning experiences on the AWS Cloud. AWS Educate provides students with free access to AWS to practice their knowledge, experiment, and innovate on the cloud, while also offering additional learning opportunities during or after they complete their AP CS course.
Step 2: Students pursuing CS in college can apply for a $10,000 scholarship
Amazon is investing in scholarships for students from communities currently underrepresented in tech. Those students successfully completing the Edhesive AP CS course while maintaining at least a GPA of 3.0 and accepted to an accredited four-year university can apply for a tuition scholarship award of $10,000 per student. This award provided by Amazon will recognize students who are continuing to pursue CS in college.
Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) Scholar applications will be available on the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway site from November 1, 2018 through January 15, 2019, with selections being announced by March 15, 2019. Amazon encourages Edhesive AP CS students to apply, but it is not a requirement for being a scholarship recipient.
Step 3: Opportunity for freshman and sophomore college students to intern at Amazon
The final step of the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway is the AFE internship. To be considered, applicants should have completed at least one college CS course, as well as 10+ hours of documented CS service as outlined here. The new CS service requirement is in the spirit of AFE’s desire to support new learners and create a community.
AFE intern applicants selected into the program will work as software engineer interns for 12 weeks in one of several Amazon offices across the U.S. They will work closely with a technical mentor and manager, as well as their fellow AFE interns, to innovate and create on behalf of our customers. They will gain experience working with new, cutting-edge technologies and tools unique to Amazon, as well as learn from and network with Amazon leaders, attend events, and create lasting bonds.
AFE internship applications will be available through the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway site. The application process will open September 1, 2018 and close on December 1, 2018 with selections being announced by February 29, 2019.
“We want to remove barriers for students to learn CS at the most critical phases of their education and reward those who persist with early software engineering internships. This is in the hope that they’ll join us working at Amazon or in the broader tech industry once they complete the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway,” said Ian Simpson, VP of Marketplace Tech at Amazon.
By providing access to tools and support every step of the way, the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway is designed to create opportunities for students to be successful in learning and working in the world of computer science.