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Giving Compass' Take:
• Jessica Campisi reports that the Future Engineer Initiative will offer boot camps, training sessions, and opportunities for youth in 2,000 of the nation's low-income high schools to increase access to STEM.
• What are the challenges in motivating low-income students to be interested in STEM education and pursue careers in computer science? What role can philanthropists play in increasing opportunities and interest in STEM?
As computer science jobs continue opening with too few college graduates possessing the necessary skills, Amazon announced Thursday its Amazon Future Engineer initiative, which will help "inspire, educate and train children and young adults from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science," according to a news release.
The initiative includes coding camps, online lessons, and funding for intro and Advanced Placement computer science courses for more than 100,000 underprivileged youth in 2,000 of the nation's low-income high schools, as well as 100 four-year, $10,000 annual college scholarships with guaranteed internships at Amazon for students from underserved communities pursuing computer science degrees.
It hasn't been easy for schools to implement computer science skills and bring them to life. Districts across the country struggle to find the time to integrate these lessons into the curriculum, and schools nationwide are facing teacher shortages, so it's even more difficult to find qualified, experienced and motivated educators to take the helm of these specialized courses.
To combat some of these issues and make computer science a more central component of schools' curricula, administrators can take advantage of opportunities to apply for grant funding, partnering with local colleges or groups — as Amazon is doing in this initiative by teaming up with organizations Code.org and Coding with Kids — to get greater access to some of these resources and give students the chance to explore this rapidly expanding field.
Read the full article about STEM access by Jessica Campisi at Education Dive.