Clayton County Public Schools is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s expansion to more than 500,000 elementary students nationwide
Funding from Amazon Future Engineer delivers teacher professional development and curriculum from BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider specializing in high-quality computer science concepts, practices, and standards for elementary teachers and students
Amazon Future Engineer aims to bring high-quality computer science access to students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech - from childhood to career
Jonesboro, GA—June 15, 2022— Amazon and Clayton County Public Schools today announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and teacher professional development for 28 elementary schools in the district, impacting more than 10,500 students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech, as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. Clayton County Public Schools is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s ongoing sponsorship which aims to bring computer science to 500,000 elementary students by 2025.
Amazon is working with BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider, specializing in K-5 school education, to bring computer science to each Clayton County elementary school. BootUp PD’s typically in-person PD sessions adapt well to a virtual model and provide teachers with the tools they need to bring engaging coding lessons to their students both on-screen and in-person. High-quality computer science education for elementary school students during their school day is a critical piece of Amazon’s “childhood to career” approach because it helps bridge equity skill gaps at an age when students are just beginning to formulate ideas about their futures.
“We are excited to be the recipients of the Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp Elementary Computer Science Sponsorship,” said Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, Superintendent/CEO of Clayton County Public Schools. “Throughout this three-year program, our teachers will participate in BootUp professional development courses to gain critical skills and knowledge to teach our students while strengthening the district's elementary computer science initiative at no cost to our school system. This is a wonderful opportunity for not only our teachers but our students and their families as well. Let us all just imagine their futures filled with opportunities.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the students in Clayton County ,” said Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeffrey E. Turner. “This is yet another example of how we are Clayton connected and share the common goal of ensuring access to resources and partnerships that help support the needs of our children and their families," said Jeff Turner, Chairman of Clayton County’s Board Commissioners.
“Amazon Future Engineer is thrilled to hear how teachers continue to go above and beyond to reach young students and pique their interest in computer science,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “We are committed to offering 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.”
"This equity-driven opportunity will help close digital learning gaps by ensuring computer science opportunities for students in all communities throughout Clayton County,” said Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director. “It is the first ongoing national sponsorship focused on implementing sustainable, district-wide computer science, exactly where it’s needed most. We’re extremely proud to be a part of something that will have a measurable, positive impact for decades to come.”
Amazon’s commitment to Clayton County Public Schools is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to increase access to computer science/STEM education across the country, primarily through Amazon Future Engineer. In addition, Amazon has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education. Already in Georgia, there are more than 270 schools participating in the Amazon Future Engineer program, and 11 students who have received a $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and guaranteed Amazon internship.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon employees are volunteering virtually in Amazon Future Engineer classrooms, talking to the students about the importance of their own computer science education. Amazon Future Engineer also launched the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge – a free, virtual, first of its kind coding competition that teaches students the basics of computer science in the context of a real-life industry challenge. To learn more about what Amazon is doing in response to COVID-19 for communities, employees, partners, and customers, check out the Amazon Blog: Day One.
About Clayton County Public Schools
Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) is fully accredited through Cognia. The district offers a focused world-class program based on a challenging curriculum which is taught from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Serving over 50,000 students, Clayton County Public Schools is ranked among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. and is the fifth-largest school system in Georgia.
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 250 students with four-year, $40,000 scholarships and paid internships at Amazon, as well as names 10 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. The program is currently available in the U.S., UK, France, Canada, India, and Germany. For more information, visit amazonfutureengineer.com.
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 650 elementary schools in fifteen states, directly impacting over 230,000 students. BootUp prepares teachers to facilitate open-ended coding projects that are project-based and personally meaningful. 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.
Sponsorship applications are being accepted at: www.afebootup.smapply.org.