Dekalb County Schools partners with Amazon to fund computer science education

Stone Mountain- Today, Amazon and DeKalb County School District (DCSD) today announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and teacher professional development for 30 elementary schools in the district, impacting more than 10,000 students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. DeKalb County School District is part of Amazon Future Engineer’s expansion to more than 6,000 schools, 1,000 of which are elementary schools.

“The Amazon Future Engineer program will close equity gaps by ensuring computer science learning opportunities for students in underserved communities like DeKalb and throughout the nation,” said Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director. “It’s really the first ongoing national sponsorship focused on implementing sustainable, district-wide computer science. We’re extremely proud to be a part of something that will have a measurable, positive impact for decades to come.”

Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director

Amazon in partnership with BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider specializing in elementary school education, will bring computer science to each school. BootUp PD’s professional development 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.

This partnership will be a part of DeKalb’s Career, Technical & Agricultural Education department plans to enhance its Computer Science for All initiative by providing 1,000 K-12 teachers with training to deliver computer science coursework. Their goal is to expand their Computer Science for All initiative to 100,000 K12 DCSD students by 2025.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with Amazon. This expansion of our computer science program will impact at least 30 elementary schools and benefit over 10,000 students from diverse communities over the course of the next three years. This is great news for our District! Technology plays a significant role in STEM education and in our students’ future. This is one more step in DCSD’s digital transformation to provide our students with critical technological skills.”

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris.

Amazon’s commitment to DeKalb County School District is part of its investment to increase access to computer science/STEM education across the country, primarily through Amazon Future Engineer. By 2021, the program is on track to meet its goal of reaching 1.6 million students from historically underrepresented communities globally through its real-world-inspired, virtual and hands-on computer science project learning experiences. Amazon Future Engineer already supports more than 40 schools across metro Atlanta with a high-quality, free, computer science curriculum, robotics clubs, and educator professional learning.

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