Amazon gives behind-the-scenes tour of Suffolk’s fulfillment center for local students, hosts Future Engineer Robotics Camp
Published 9:24 am Thursday, October 26, 2023
According to a press release, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, Amazon took its investment in computer science and STEM education to the next level with its Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) Robotics Camp. Amazon hosted local high school seniors from Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, York, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Norfolk at its robotics fulfillment center in Suffolk, ORF3. The camp included the opportunity for Q&A with the Virginia Secretary of Education and the presidents of local higher education institutions, followed by a robotics activity led by Hampton University students and faculty, lunch with an Amazon Roboticist, and concluded with a behind-the-scenes tour of the robotics fulfillment center.
Aimee Guidera, Virginia Secretary of Education, talked about the shared goal of supporting future workforce by Amazon and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
“Amazon shares Gov. Youngkin’s goal to support the workforce of tomorrow and develop the tech talent pipeline from classroom to career,” Guidera said. “The Youngkin Administration commends Amazon’s $4.9M investment in CodeVA to expand access to computer science curriculum throughout Virginia K-12 schools and ensure more students have access to rigorous STEM pathways.”
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Supporting students is an important step in building a diverse tech industry, accorsgin to Lindsay Winter, Amazon Head of Virginia Public Policy.
“At Amazon, supporting students in their computer science education is imperative to building a diverse tech industry and future,” Winter said. “Amazon is committed to preparing students for the future workforce by introducing students to technology, computer science, and career exploration at all ages.”
“The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Camp was an excellent opportunity for high school seniors to learn about future innovative careers,” said Dr. Marcia Conston, President of Tidewater Community College. “I was happy to serve as a panelist to echo the value of education and training for industry demand careers that are both engaging and exciting for our youth. Tidewater Community College’s Career Choice partnership with Amazon is a great example of the educational opportunities the company offers.”
Amazon Future Engineer is a computer science and STEM education program that seeks to afford all young people the opportunity to explore their potential. The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program provides students with a $40,000 scholarship in paid tuition to attend the college of their choice, plus an offer to complete a paid summer internship at Amazon after their freshman year. Applications for the 2023 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program are currently open.
“The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Camp is a great opportunity for high school students as they begin to imagine their futures and explore the limitless possibilities in both their personal and professional lives,” said Brian O. Hemphill, President of Old Dominion University. “Old Dominion University is proud to collaborate with Amazon and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council in providing an engaging and interactive platform for these talented students to discover, innovate, and thrive, while further examining STEM fields and related careers.”
“Career exploration for students is key to ensuring the workforce of tomorrow is excited about the possibilities for them in the future,” said Shawn Avery, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Workforce Council. “Amazon continues to provide students with the opportunity to see firsthand technology in use and builds that enthusiasm for STEM education.”
All Amazon associates have access to continuing education opportunities through the company’s upskilling program, Career Choice, an education benefit that offers prepaid college tuition, industry certifications, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. Since the program’s launch, over 1,000 employees in Virginia have pursued degrees through Amazon’s thirteen education partners in the Commonwealth, including Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, and Tidewater Community College. The company has committed to investing $1.2 billion to help over 300,000 employees in the U.S. further develop their skills by 2025.
Amazon Future Engineer is a computer science and STEM education program that seeks to afford all young people the opportunity to explore their potential. AFE harnesses Amazon’s scale and innovative spirit to inspire and prepare young people for the careers of the future through computer science. Amazon does not believe everyone needs to be an engineer, yet we do believe that even a basic exposure to computer science can help young people on their educational and career journey. We seek a world where young people can realize their potential as creators, thinkers, and builders. For more information, visit www.amazonfutureengineer.com.
To help expand the diversity of the talent that will shape the future of robotics, Amazon has invested in a number of academic engagements with colleges and universities, including a collaboration with Hampton University. At Hampton University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) based in Hampton, Virginia known for its cutting-edge STEM research, Amazon Robotics is funding the establishment of a robotics degree program. By investing in developing Hampton’s robotics program, Amazon supports building expansive learning opportunities for faculty and students by offering cloud-based robotics research, infrastructure improvements, and STEM-based activities to increase the overall talent pipeline. The goal is to create an undergraduate curriculum that will lead to both advanced robotics degrees as well as robotics careers within industry. For more information, visit www.amazon.science/academic-
The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program helps students boost their future for themselves and their community with the support of college funding, paid internships, and industry mentors. Students can receive a scholarship of up to $40,000 (up to $10,000/year) towards an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science and an offer to complete a summer internship at Amazon! Applications are now OPEN and will close on December 15th at 4:00 p.m. (EST). For more information, visit www.amazonfutureengineer.com/