Amazon is on a mission to support future engineers.
The company announced a $15 million donation from Amazon Future Engineer to nonprofit Code.org that will support the launch and development of a new equity-minded Advanced Placement (AP) computer science programming curriculum, according to a press release.
Students will learn the same concepts and tools as the existing AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) course that will hone in on the interests, experiences, and unique cultural perspectives of Black, Latino, Native American (BLNA), and other minority students.
“Since its inception, our Amazon Future Engineer program has worked to ensure more students have the resources and skills they need to build their best futures,” said Jeff Wilke, former CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon, in a news release. “With our donation to Code.org, we hope that even more students — from a wider variety of backgrounds — will be inspired and prepared to pursue computer science in high school, college, and beyond.”
The opportunity to take AP CSA provides students with a chance to earn a college credit equal to a first-semester college CS course which is a vital step in a student’s CS journey that leads to long-term success.
According to the College Board, Black students who take the AP CSA course are seven times more likely to study CS in college.
In an effort to make AP CSA accessible and equitable for all, Code.org will design a new curriculum that will incorporate students’ diverse experiences and interests into CS concepts. They aim to empower students to investigate real-world concerns during class activities.
“We are excited to develop a much-needed AP-level programming curriculum to inspire, engage, and prepare a more diverse population of students in high school computer science,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO and Founder of Code.org in the release. “With our experience of designing CS curricula that break records in student participation and diversity, we are confident of the curriculum’s potential impact, and we are grateful for Amazon’s generous support to make it possible.”
The $15 million donation from Amazon Future Engineer will be paid over the next three years. States included in the 2021-2022 school year pilot program are Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.