Amazon Now Funding Computer Science Education for 8 Elementary Schools in Bastrop ISD, Impacting More than 6,195 Students
November 13 2023 · By BootUp Team
Bastrop ISD is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s expansion to more than 500,000 elementary students nationwide
Amazon and Bastrop ISD today announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and teacher professional development for 8 elementary schools in the district, impacting more than 6,195 students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech, as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. Bastrop ISD is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s target to bring computer science to 500,000 elementary students by 2025.
Amazon is working with BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider, specializing in elementary school education, to bring computer science to each 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 about the partnership between Bastrop ISD and Amazon to impact both our teachers and our students,” said Barry Edwards, Superintendent of Schools. “Investing in training for teachers to help them hone their knowledge, skills and teaching craft is what enables them to truly make a difference for students. That the professional development is targeted towards computer science education directly addresses our goal to provide meaningful future career pathways for our students.”
“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.”
“We have future scientists, engineers, and inventors in our classrooms throughout the District, and I am proud that we have resources like Amazon’s Future Engineer program to assist them in reaching their goals!” said Texas Senator Charles Schwertner
"This is the first ongoing national sponsorship focused on implementing equitable, sustainable computer science education that is available to all students district-wide," said BootUp’s Chief Executive Officer Savita Raj. “We prepare educators and support districts in building long term programs that provide equitable access to computer science opportunities for all students. Through this partnership, we will build a community of curious, innovative, thoughtful learners who are ready to most brilliantly impact our futures.”
Amazon’s commitment to Bastrop ISD 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 Texas, there are more than 550 schools participating in the Amazon Future Engineer program, and 100 students who have received a $40,000 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and guaranteed Amazon internship in SY 2023.
About Bastrop ISD
Bastrop ISD is one of the largest districts geographically in the State of Texas, at 433 square miles, and the public school system of choice in the Bastrop area, serving more than 13,000 students in 17 schools. Two additional elementary schools will open in the fall of 2025. The District also operates three state-licensed, four-star-rated Child Development Centers for children aged 6 weeks to 4 years old. We maintain high expectations and a complete commitment to investing time, energy, talents, and expertise towards each child. In Bastrop ISD, "Their future is our focus!" We offer numerous postsecondary pathways including a P-TECH Academy in Advanced Manufacturing, a P-TECH Academy in Health Science Technology, and an Early College High School Program in Education & Training. Students can also explore culinary arts, visual arts, automotive technology, construction science, Project Lead the Way engineering, and many other pathways to help them craft their futures. For more information, visit bisdtx.org.