Jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are of great interest to many, and that trend is expected to continue in the coming years. However, despite this projected growth, Black and Latino students represent only 25% of STEM degree enrollments.
Amazon is committed to growing this number, and providing opportunities for historically underrepresented students to build a pathway into STEM education and careers. One of the ways Amazon is tackling this challenge is by partnering with iD Tech, a leader in youth STEM education, to provide inspiration and excitement to students across the country through the Amazon, hardware, embedded, artificial intelligence, design (AHEAD) program.
What is Amazon AHEAD?
The AHEAD program seeks to provide early exposure to potential careers in STEM for students aged 11-18, by helping them understand how STEM can be used to solve real problems, and showing them the pathways into education and, eventually, a career in STEM.
The five-month program provides students with ongoing opportunities to develop skills through hybrid-learning experiences and immersive collaboration opportunities, where students can interact with one another and Amazon employees to learn more about their career paths. The goal of the program is to help students and their families better understand their pathways into STEM careers, and lay the groundwork for their success.
What are the benefits for students?
Through engaging projects and hands-on experiences, students will dive into the world of Amazon Alexa, learning about the inner workings of voice recognition technology and discovering its real-world applications. Additionally, they will unlock their creativity by delving into game design using Luna, Amazon's cloud gaming service, and create their own interactive gaming experiences.
One of the immersive in-person opportunities offered for AHEAD students is the Amazonian for a Day event, where students can see firsthand what a career at Amazon might look like. Hosted at key Amazon corporate offices around the country, students get to experience hands-on activities and product demonstrations, and gain access and inspiration from some of Amazon’s employees.
Hands-on learning opportunities at these events encourage students to push the boundaries of their thinking, and imagine what the future of technology, such as Alexa, might look like. Students leave Amazonian for a Day events energized and excited about the future.
One high school student who attended a recent event said, “I definitely learned a lot more about new technology and just how many projects Amazon was undertaking—streaming, delivery, kids content, Alexa—and so much more. I learned a lot more about the power of networking; it was different actually to hear how Amazon engineers had gotten a job through it, versus learning about it through an article.”
How can my student get involved?
We are currently taking applications for the fall/winter 2023 AHEAD cohort for students in the Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. Selected applicants will attend this innovative program and be immersed in hands-on learning through a custom curriculum enhanced by Amazon innovation.
Applications for the fall AHEAD cohort close July 31. To learn more about the program and how parents and guardians can apply for their student, visit the Amazon AHEAD landing page.