Fifteen high schools in the city will provide computer science courses funded by Amazon Future Engineer program.
Students will take Intro to Computer Science and AP Computer Science classes through Edhesive, an online curriculum provider. The initiative aims to train young people to pursue careers in the computer science field.
“Amazon’s funding provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, 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,” said Allison Flicker of Amazon on Tuesday afternoon. “All students participating in this program will also 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.”
Last week, school officials estimated it would cost $1.35 million ($18,000 per school) to Amazon to provide the courses over a five-year period. But the estimate was inaccurate, according to both school district and Amazon officials.
Amazon does not break down the cost for specific schools and it can vary depending on need and program use. School officials scrambled to have news organization take down the stories mentioning the inaccurate figure.
“Through this grant, our students will be benefiting from resources and knowledge that are rooted in 21st century practices and applications,” said assistant superintendent Eric Crespo. “They will be getting the best computer science education possible at the high school level, and the best preparation for competitive assessments such as AP exams.”
Schools will have access to Edhesive’s online computer science training and professional development courses.
Teacher training will improve instructions in Introduction to Computer Science, Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science A courses.
30 teachers, two from each high school, will receive computer science education training from Edhesive. Those teachers will have access to Edhesive’s online teachers as needed, according to the district.
Every high school will have a contact person at Edhesive.
Students at the high schools will get a 24/7 online tutor to aid them with all course work as well as an Amazon engineer as a mentor. Students will also take a field trip to an Amazon fulfillment center.
Those who successfully complete the courses and major in a tech-related field will be able eligible to apply for $10,000 grant from Amazon to help with college costs. They will also be eligible for Amazon internships.
“This is a tremendous infusion of resources that will benefit high school students throughout the district,” said superintendent Eileen Shafer. “Having Edhesive’s cutting-edge teaching resources available to our schools will help our students be better prepared to succeed in the computer sciences in college, and enter a STEM-related career as adults.”
Below are the 15 receiving schools:
- School of Information Technology at Eastside High School
- School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside High School
- School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism at at Eastside High School
- International High School
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at John F. Kennedy High School
- School of Education and Training at John F. Kennedy High School
- School of Architecture and Construction Trades at John F. Kennedy High School
- School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance at John F. Kennedy High School
- Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts
- Garret Morgan Academy for Transportation and Engineering
- Panther Academy
- Academy of Health Science (HARP Academy)
- STARS Academy
- Great Falls Academy
- Silk City Academy.
Edhesive is New York City company that provides online computer science courses. Its partnership with Amazon aims to get young people from underserved and underrepresented communities to pursue careers in computer science.
Amazon is investing $50 million in computer science and STEM education. Its Future Engineer program is part of that initiative.
By fall 1,000 high schools in the U.S. will offer computer science courses funded by Amazon Future Engineer program.
This report was updated on Apr. 24, 2019 at 12 p.m.