Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon Future Engineer, its global computer science (CS) education program, in India. The program will enable access to quality CS education and career opportunities for students from underrepresented and underserved communities. In the first year of its launch, Amazon aims to enable and deliver CS learning opportunities to more than 1 lakh students from 900 government and aided schools across seven states in India.
While a million students enroll in CS engineering courses annually in India, the participation of students from underserved and underrepresented communities remains significantly low on account of multiple factors, including low exposure to CS-related career opportunities, lack of inspirational role models in their community, and language barriers to accessing interesting curriculum formats. Further, smartphone penetration in India is significantly higher than the availability of computers; and yet most existing CS learning modules and online content are not mobile-friendly, instead of leaning on the computer as a medium, which acts as an additional impediment for students.
Amazon Future Engineer, the comprehensive childhood-to-career community program, aims to address this gap by bringing early exposure and access to CS education to students through in-person, online and blended learning formats. Amazon is working with its global knowledge partner Code.org, a global non-profit organization dedicated to computer science education, to bring high quality and mobile interactive CS content to Indian students. Taking the local nuances into account, the curriculum has been contextualized for the Indian teacher and student community in government school settings and will offer students coding fundamentals along with future-focused tech courses like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (Voice Technology) in Indian languages.
Amazon will partner with multiple education-focused non-profit organizations to take quality CS education to the students of government schools across the states of Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Telangana. The initiative will primarily focus on students in grades 6-12, and will also train teachers and educators to teach computer science more engagingly.
Apart from enabling content and curriculum, Amazon Future Engineer will also help students discover and explore the world of Computer Science and its application in the real world, through hands-on experiences. Initiatives will include ‘Class Chats’ through which students meet Amazonians to understand tech industry careers, and ‘Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge’ where students learn programming basics while coding robots and discover how Amazon uses robotics to deliver millions of products around the globe.