West selected for Amazon partnership

As an Amazon Future Engineer school, West will have access to scholarships, summer internships, curriculum support, training and Amazon Web Services.

Natalie Dunlap, Online Feature Editor

In Monday’s Weekly Update principal Gregg Shoultz announced the school’s status as an Amazon Future Engineer school (AFE).

“West High School is pleased to announce that it has been selected as an Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) school – a partnership between Amazon and Edhesive to improve access to computer science education in communities currently underrepresented in the technology field,” Shoultz stated in the letter.

Computer science teacher Dominic Audia is looking forward to what the grant will do for the technology department and the opportunities it will provide students.

“We had initially applied looking ahead to the 2019-2020 year, but parts of the grant apply for some of our kids that are graduating this year. They will be eligible to apply for some scholarships through our Amazon partnership and the deadline is January 31st.”

Besides the scholarships, the program also gives students the opportunity to participate in summer internships and supports the school’s computer science curriculum. Audia sent articles showing that the district is expecting to make big cuts and that the program could protect computer science electives from taking a hit. 

“We get … support in our curriculum to help prepare the kids for careers in computer sciences and some of that is through access through Amazon Web Services,” Audia said. “Most people when they think of Amazon they think of amazon.com and they certainly make a lot of money. But only half of their revenue … is from their website and the other half is from Amazon Web Services. And it’s really the go-to platform for development of websites and hosting all sorts of businesses.”

Teachers will also go through training so they know how to use Amazon Web Services.

“I’m really excited we got it,” Audia said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to make a connection from high school to career with some of our classes. It looks pretty promising.”

 

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