Amazon Funding Computer Science Education for 200 Schools in Los Angeles Unified, Benefitting More Than 48,000 Students
January 11 2022 · By Karen Melara
Los Angeles Unified joins Amazon Future Engineer and BootUp PD coding initiative to bring equitable computer science education to elementary students
January 11, 2022, Los Angeles, CA. - BootUp today announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and professional development for Los Angeles Unified School District, bringing equitable computer science education to students throughout the District. The initiative is part of Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s global philanthropic education program. Amazon Future Engineer is working directly with BootUp, a nonprofit professional development provider, under a shared goal of increasing access to computer science education for elementary students from underserved and historically underrepresented communities.
In the first cohort, the program is reaching 35 schools, reaching over 300 teachers and impacting over 10,000 students. The funding will provide the opportunity for 2 more cohorts to engage in a year of professional development at no cost, plus hundreds of resources for teachers to engage students through fun, interactive learning experiences.
“Amazon Future Engineer’s commitment to Los Angeles Unified is part of our investment to increase access to computer science/STEM education across the country,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director, Amazon Future Engineer. “We are thrilled to partner at the district level to provide high-quality curriculum, professional development, and benefits to support educators as they help their students build life-changing skills that leverage computer science and coding to bring their dreams to life, no matter what career they choose to pursue.”
“As the second-largest public school district in the nation, Los Angeles Unified through its Instructional Technology Initiative (ITI) has positioned itself to become a true leader in district-wide computer science implementation,” said Clark Merkley, Executive Director of BootUp. “Implementing the program at the district level ensures that all students will get exposed to computer science during the day, ensuring truly equitable access for those who deserve it most. It’s an honor to be a part of Los Angeles Unified computer science initiative by providing computer science education to all students by 2025.”
“We are grateful to our partners Amazon and BootUp for helping us expand our computer science education programs,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “This initiative will literally open the doors of opportunity for our students to discover innovative solutions to problems in their communities, explore new means of communication and creative expression, and learn about college majors or careers they might never thought were possible.”
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career initiative designed to inspire and educate millions of students to build life-changing skills that leverage computer science and coding. For 2021, Amazon Future Engineer is on track to meet its goal of reaching 1.6 million students from historically underrepresented communities globally through real-world-inspired, virtual and hands-on computer science project learning experiences. Right now, in the U.S., that means providing more than 6,000 schools with computer science curriculum, teacher support and professional development.
With BootUp, coding is elementary for ALL students. BootUp’s professional development and support is customized to each district’s unique needs. Teachers district-wide learn how to engage students with easy-to-use, block-based programming languages to create interactive stories, animations, games, art, music, and more through problem-solving and other fundamental CS practices. BootUp programs require no prior coding experience and include interest-driven, no-cost curricula that continue in perpetuity after the three-year implementation is complete.
About BootUp Professional Development
BootUp PD is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit specializing in district-wide elementary computer science initiatives that focus on creativity and problem-solving. Since 2015, BootUp has worked with over 477 elementary schools in seventeen states, directly impacting over 1,500 educators and 150,000 students. BootUp prepares teachers to facilitate open-ended coding projects that are project-based and personally meaningful in the free platforms Scratch and ScratchJr. Students are empowered with creative and interactive curricula that allow them to explore their personal interests through coding with design, music, animation, games, or stories.
About Amazon Future Engineer
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program intended to inspire and educate millions of students from historically underrepresented communities globally, including hundreds of thousands of students in the U.S. each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Additionally, each year Amazon Future Engineer awards 100 students with four-year, $40,000 scholarships and paid internships at Amazon, as well as names ten Teacher of the Year winners, awarding $30,000 prize packages for going above and beyond to inspire students in computer science and to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. For 2021, Amazon Future Engineer has a goal to reach 1.6 million students from historically underrepresented communities globally with real-world-inspired virtual and hands-on computer science project learning. The program is currently available in the U.S., U.K., France, Canada, India and Germany.
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