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Amazon recognizes computer science teachers

Amazon is introducing the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Awards.

The awards are meant to honor and recognize seven teachers and their schools who work to help students in underserved and underrepresented communities build skills in computer science. Prize packages are valued at more than $25,000. 

The more than 2,400 teachers participating in the Amazon Future Engineer program at over 2,100 schools nationwide can be nominated or apply at AmazonFutureEngineer.com from Feb. 13 to March 12.

Award recipients will be chosen based on a variety of criteria which includes their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion within computer science education, a recommendation from a school administrator, and compelling, personal anecdotes about their school and students. 

Seven recipients will be chosen from across the country – two high school teachers in the Eastern U.S., two in the West, two in the central region, and one Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant teacher. Scholarship America will judge applications and select the award recipients.

“The more than 2,400 Amazon Future Engineer teachers go the extra mile to bring exciting and life-changing computer science education to their students,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer, Amazon. “We are proud to be able to support the teachers’ mission and the hundreds of thousands of hard-working students across the country who benefit. With this first round of awards, we are thrilled to recognize and celebrate these teachers as they make it possible for more students from a wide variety of backgrounds to have access to this increasingly important field.”

Amazon Future Engineer funds introductory and Advanced Placement computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools serving more than 100,000 students in underserved and underrepresented communities. Amazon’s funding also provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, digital curriculum for students, and live online support for both teachers and students. 

All educators and students participating in this program have access to a no-cost membership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students resources for building skills in cloud technology. 

The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant is currently in more than 150 schools, supporting thousands of students. This program provides a variety of elementary, middle, and high schools with robotics programming, which includes funding to launch First robotics clubs along with teacher professional development, and an additional $10,000 to expand access to computer science education at each school.

All Amazon Future Engineer teachers can apply to the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Awards. School principals, administrators, peers, and students can also nominate Amazon Future Engineer teachers to apply. Amazon will notify award recipients later in 2020. 

The schools of award recipients will each receive a prize package, which may include a variety of needed donations to their classrooms, STEM toys and activities, and school upgrades and enhancements. They will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Amazon’s re:MARS artificial intelligence event.

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