Umatilla High School is now part of the Amazon Future Engineer program and will receive funding from Amazon to start offering computer science classes to students this Fall. Umatilla High School is one of more than 1,000 high schools across the country currently signed up for Amazon Future Engineer, a national program aimed at making computer science accessible to all students. With more than 1,000 high schools signed up, Amazon Future Engineer will serve tens of thousands of high school students.

With Amazon Future Engineer’s funding, Umatilla High School will offer Intro to Computer Science and Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science classes through curriculum provider, Edhesive. Amazon’s funding provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, and professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support every day of the week for both teachers and students. These full-year courses are designed to inspire, prepare, and propel students in their pursuit of computer science education. All students participating in this program will receive a free membership to AWS Educate which provides them with free access to computing power in the AWS Cloud for their coding projects and content to learn about cloud computing.

“We are honored to receive this support from Amazon” said Superintendent, Heidi Sipe. “We have provided STEM opportunities in Umatilla for a number of years and this opportunity strengthens current offerings and provides a direct pathway to employment. Amazon is playing a large role in economic development for our region and we are excited to see how these opportunities will assist us in better preparing students for workforce needs.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a tiny minority from underprivileged backgrounds. And, underprivileged students are 8 to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.

“We want to ensure that every child, especially those from underprivileged communities, has an opportunity to study computer science,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “We are excited more than 1,000 schools will now provide these courses, and look forward to adding 1,000 more schools over the coming months.”

Launched in November, 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underprivileged, underrepresented, and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire more than 10 million kids to explore computer science; provide over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; award 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offer guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.