A program designed to inspire and educate, the Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) program inspires thousands of students to explore a future in computer science. Participants take part in computer science, robotics, and engineering as part of Amazon's commitment to help students in underrepresented communities.
Engineers for a day
In celebration of International Day of the Girl, directors of the program set out to inspire four girls who were selected winners at "Girls Make Games" summer camp. These young women were welcomed to Amazon's Relentless Studios in Seattle. They were treated with a day of shadowing, hanging out with, and learning from women in the gaming industry.
The schedule included:
Breakfast with Amazon Future Engineer Team
Interactive Internet of Things activity with female Solutions Architects
Lunch and Learn Panel with Woman in Games
Sarcastic Shark Clouds game presentation
Visit to Relentless Studios
Tour of the Amazon campus and Amazon Spheres
It was an energizing day of activities. One of the participants, Rachel Barnum, captured photos of the girls throughout the day and had this to say:
"There is always something special about meeting young girls who are so passionate about technology. You could really tell that the women of Crucible were excited to share their own passions and experiences to encourage these future game developers. I think everyone in Crucible had their spirits lifted when the girls toured the floor and asked the devs questions about what they do. I also think everyone was disappointed when the event ended."
About the Amazon Future Engineer Program
K-8 - Research shows that students from underrepresented and undeserved communities are more likely to pursue computer science later in their career if granted access this early in their age group. AFE sponsors district-wide onsite professional development to elementary and middle school teachers for computer science education. This sponsorship provides what every school district needs across the United States to implement a great sustainable computer science initiative.
In addition to this program, the robotics grant program provides more than 150 schools with FIRST membership, more funding for computer science, and access to tours for Amazon Robotics fulfillment centers.
High School - As school curriculum grows, so does the AFE program. Amazon's funding provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, and professional development for teachers and live online support every day of the week. These are full year courses designed to inspire, propel, and prepare students in their pursuit of computer science education. All teachers and students who participate in this program, have access membership at no-cost via AWS Educate, Amazon's global initiative to provide students with comprehension for building skills in cloud technology. Students can receive content to learn cloud and coding skills for their projects.
Scholarships - Each year, Amazon selects 100 students from underrepresented communities to participate in this program. Students planning to study computer science at a four-year college or university will receive $10,000 for the academic year.
Internships - Along with the selection of the 10 students who receive a scholarship, they are also guaranteed a paid internship at Amazon after their first college year. Within these internships, students partner with a technical mentor, manager, and other interns to innovate and help create new features & services on behalf of Amazon customers.
Looking Long Term
Amazon is committed to helping students from underrepresented and under-deserved communities so that they may have the resources and skills to build their best futures. Whether or not students pursue careers in computer science, the lessons they learn are important across a wide variety of fields and help students to learn critical problem solving skills.
The AFE program is a big part of Amazon's five-year $50 million investment to computer science. The program has donated $20 million to organizations that promote STEM (science, technology, engineer, math) programs and computer science for students interested in this career path.