Amazon has launched Camp Amazon, a new program to inspire and encourage children from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science. The new program will give 100 school students in New South Wales and Victoria the opportunity to participate in a wide-ranging two-year program to develop their STEM skills.
The students will engage each term in STEM activities including coding camps and workshops undertaken at Amazon’s fulfilment centres in either Melbourne or Sydney after school or during summer holiday. The sessions will be led by Amazon and industry leaders in the STEM field.
Craig Fuller, Amazon Australia Director of Operations said, “We are excited to launch Camp Amazon. We recognise that the jobs of tomorrow require a strong aptitude for STEM, we see it in our growing business, and want to be part of the solution. We want to set up children for long-term success. In Australia, there are 100,000 students currently involved in studying some type of STEM program outside of the school curriculum, but with over 3.2 million students enrolled in Years 1–10, the majority are still lacking exposure to the subjects. That’s why we are supporting STEM education programs to better prepare Australian students for future in-demand jobs. Through Camp Amazon we hope to see the long-term benefits of helping create a future workforce for Australia by equipping students with the skills they will need for tomorrow.”
Tye Brady, Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist held a presentation for 25 students in Year 5 and 6 from Hoxton Park Public School and said: “Amazon has long been focused on the next generation by providing resources and igniting passion for STEM education in the communities that it operates worldwide. Amazon continues to create great new jobs each year using STEM skills within our 175 fulfilment centres around the world. I am excited to be in Australia and share first hand my knowledge and passion to young students from Hoxton Park Public School and donate $10 000 for the school to buy STEM resources.”
Over the two-year program Amazon will work alongside industry leaders to offer their insights to students. They will play an active role in the program and support students’ existing studies as well as focusing on areas such as computer science, process engineering, robotics and IT. The move has never been timelier, given that the 2017 National Scientific Statement found that enrolments in STEM were at its lowest level in 20 years.
Kylie Donovan, Principal at Hoxton Park Public School in Sydney said, “It is fantastic to see this investment in the education of children in the local community. STEM is a critical area where we must inspire students and nurture their passion. Camp Amazon is another tool in the space. Our involvement is a fantastic opportunity. Not only have we received funding for STEM equipment, but key people are spending time to further teach our Year 5 and 6 students about STEM in an exciting and engaging way. As a futures focused school, we see this as complementing students' learning and can see this leading to more students pursuing STEM courses in further education.”
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