News Article

Amazon Future Engineer Funds Elementary Computer Science Education for Additional 500,000 Students by 2025

May 3 2022 · By BootUp Team

Participating Public School Districts Include Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York, who are Already Proving Equitable Access to CS Works for All Students

Now Accepting Applications from School Districts to be a part of the Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp Elementary CS Initiative!

May 3, 2022, Orem, UT. Amazon Future Engineer, in partnership with BootUp PD, is further accelerating its effort to bring equitable computer science (CS) education to students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities nation-wide. The three-year initiative will support 500,000 elementary students across 40 school districts and aims to inspire young learners to explore computer science and its essential contributions to technology and humanity.

BootUp PD is a nonprofit, professional development provider specializing in elementary school education. BootUp’s support, a combination of virtual and in-person PD sessions and coaching, provides teachers and school districts with the tools and confidence they need to bring engaging coding curricula to all students.

Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program offering programming that starts with primary school and continues through secondary into career. Each year, the program inspires and educates millions of students globally from underserved communities to pursue careers of the future by leveraging computer science and coding skills. Providing access to high-quality computer science education for students during their school day is a critical piece of Amazon Future Engineer’s approach because it helps bridge equity skill gaps at an age when students are just beginning to formulate ideas about their futures.

Amazon Future Engineer and BootUp first partnered in 2020; now, two-thirds of the way through the initial program, the sponsorship has reached 27 school districts, and 367 schools have implemented computer science initiatives, impacting approximately 100,000 students. To date, 2,846 teachers have participated, and the Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp program has demonstrated nation-wide success among large and small districts alike, including districts that were among the first to enroll in the program like Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York.The achievements across districts nationwide over the last two years is a testament to how any school systems can equip students with the skills necessary for any future endeavor they can imagine.

"Powered by the Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp Elementary Computer Science Partnership, we have seen elementary teachers and students all over the country build confidence, increase joy in their learning and reach incredible levels of engagement in their pursuits. Every elementary student deserves this new literacy during the school day," said Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director

The latest Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp Elementary CS Sponsorship will provide an extensive suite of support, including teacher professional development and student curricula over three years to help districts implement sustainable computer science initiatives throughout the school day. The customized, district-level support will complement existing programs and ensure continuity of the K-12 CS initiative across the school district for equitable implementation in every classroom.

Enrolled districts will also receive CS strategic planning, access to nationwide Professional Learning Community (PLC), enhanced Instructional Coach support, and elementary professional development on computer science with an optional focus on computational thinking and/or integrating with other subjects or physical computing applications.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with BootUp to support educators and help increase access to computer science learning opportunities for young students,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “Elementary school educators often serve as a student’s first role model, providing both a mirror for their students to see themselves and their future, and a window into the industry that could inspire future talent to pursue a career in tech. We want students to know how developing computer science skills can help them achieve their career goals, whatever those might be.”

By providing equitable access—beginning in elementary grades—school districts can purposely create a pathway for continued student engagement in computer science at the middle and high school level. Providing computer science instruction before it becomes an elective gives students increased opportunities throughout their K-12 career, in college, and eventually in their chosen profession.

Implementing successful initiatives district-wide requires an approach that provides support to teachers and district-level coaches through ongoing, high-quality PD over time. It is critical to provide education and orientation to district administration and building-level principals so they can support coding teachers.

Numerous studies have showcased the enormous benefits of CS education. Students exposed to CS at the elementary school level perform much better at Reading, Math, and Science. These skills actually extend beyond the classroom, leading to improvements in behavior, creativity, curiosity, attitude, and engagement. CS exposure in elementary school can also encourage and support creative expression. Such aptitudes are essential for broader and non-related job roles, aspects of personal life such as communication, or simply helpful in navigating our progressively digital world.

With BootUp, coding is elementary for ALL students. Teachers throughout each district 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. Participants choose open-ended projects on a topic or theme that most interests them. This approach allows students’ interests to guide their learning of coding concepts and practices within projects that are personally meaningful.

Now Accepting Applications from School Districts to be a part of the Amazon Future Engineer + BootUp Elementary CS Initiative!

Learn More and Apply Today at: www.afebootup.smapply.org.

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.

Amazon Future Engineer

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