Amazon’s donation will enable CSTA to develop, launch and advise on career exploration programming to help educators prepare students for future workforce demands driven by next-generation technology
WASHINGTON, D.C.—December 5, 2023—The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and Amazon today announced a $1.5 million donation to strengthen computer science (CS) education in the United States. Amazon’s donation will support efforts to update the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards to reflect the rapid advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), help teachers incorporate career exploration initiatives in their classrooms for students, and maintain the CSTA Annual Conference as the premier professional learning event for CS educators.
Amazon, alongside CSTA’s corporate and government partners, including Google and the National Science Foundation, announced commitments at the White House during a CSEdWeek event themed Teaching Inclusive AI in CS Education. CSTA and Amazon’s collaboration marks a milestone to ensure that CS education remains dynamic and responsive to the needs of both teachers and students.
“This sustaining donation from Amazon represents a major leap forward for our nation’s computer science teacher network,” stated Jake Baskin, executive director of CSTA. “It allows us to pilot programming to help teachers prepare their students for careers of the future, update our standards to better prepare students for a future influenced by emerging technologies, and ensures that our annual conference continues to be a hub of inspiration and professional growth for CS teachers.”
Funding will be dispersed over three years and enable CSTA to maintain a robust learning environment for CS teachers. Additionally, by updating the CSTA standards that serve as a model for CS teaching and learning across grades K-12 for the 42 states that have adopted the guidance, CSTA will ensure that every student has the foundational computer science knowledge and AI education necessary to participate in a technologically driven workforce.
The donation builds on Amazon’s efforts to create pathways to success for K-12 students, college scholars, and interested adults. Through Amazon Future Engineer, the company’s global philanthropic computer science education program, Amazon aims to bridge the divide between interested students and available CS courses and opportunities. CSTA will align its career connected programming with Gallup and Amazon’s Careers of the Future Index and partner with Amazon Future Engineer as an advisor and marketer of career exploration products.
“Now is the time to do what we can to ensure the future generative AI workforce is diverse and inclusive by removing barriers to access to CS education for younger learners and providing quality professional development programs for educators,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of philanthropic education initiatives at Amazon. “Amazon and CSTA share a commitment to inspire students through career exploration and help provide both a window and mirror into to tech so students can not only learn about the variety of roles across our industry and others, but see themselves in careers of the future and develop the skills to pursue them.”
The collaboration will address critical global challenges in CS education. An Education and Employers Research study highlighted the difficulty of integrating career-related learning into packed school schedules and the need for more impactful, interactive career exploration tools in STEM education. Notably, according to a recent Gallup – Amazon study detailing the impact of role models on professional success, only 28% of U.S. adults from low-income families had successful career role models during their childhood, a gap CSTA and Amazon Future Engineer will address with career connected programming in the classroom.
Coined “The World’s Largest CS Department,” the CSTA community, led by K-12 computer science teachers, focuses on sharing best practices, building local support networks around the globe, and providing access to professional development and resources. Visit https://csteachers.org/ to learn more.
About Amazon Future Engineer
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program intended to inspire and educate millions of students from historically underrepresented communities globally, including millions of students in the U.S. each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Additionally, each year Amazon Future Engineer awards hundreds of students with four-year, up to $40,000 scholarships and paid industry internships to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. The program is currently available in Canada, France, Germany, India, the UK and U.S. For more information, visit amazonfutureengineer.com.
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science. CSTA provides opportunities for K–12 teachers and their students to better understand computer science and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.
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