Courage—specifically the courage of school teachers—is what stands out for Mat Wisner as he marvels at the way his team's Amazon Future Engineer program has grown since late 2018, when it vaulted from pilot project to nationwide impact.

"You have teachers who have never coded before teaching Advanced Placement computer science courses," said Wisner, senior manager of Amazon Future Engineer, who leads the team implementing the childhood-to-career program. "They're learning along with the students. They're saying 'Let's just roll up our sleeves and do this together. We're both going to make mistakes, and we'll learn together.'"

The intrepidness of so many teachers produced a key milestone in 2019. Amazon-funded computer science courses reached more than 100,000 students at more than 2,000 high schools.

"My takeaway is that the teachers are superheroes," Wisner said. They're showing what's known as "bias for action" in the language of Amazon's Leadership Principles. "What struck me was that they asked themselves 'Is this the right thing for our students? Yes or no?' and answered 'Yes.' And now they're proceeding to figure it out. I really applaud that effort."

For its part, Amazon Future Engineer is taking an action-focused approach to achieving its ambitious goals: inspiring hundreds of thousands of kids to explore computer science; providing access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses to over 100,000 high school students; awarding $40,000 college scholarships with a guaranteed paid internship to 100 students each year.

Just as many participating teachers are learning as they go, they're helping Amazon Future Engineer get better. "High school teachers are very forthcoming with feedback and very unbiased," Wisner said. "They're not scared to give Amazon critical feedback, which has been very helpful for us. We're learning what students need and what will engage them and attract them to computer science. We think about what unique ways Amazon can help students. We want to bring more."

Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon's $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.

From robotics to music, watch the video above and explore the images below to learn more about what Amazon Future Engineer is accomplishing alongside teachers and students.

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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos looks on as students test robotic vehicles. His visit marked the start of a partnership that's bringing robotics and computer science courses to 24 public schools in Nashville.
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High school senior Vanessa Perez-Robles right after she learned she'd received one of the inaugural Amazon Future Engineer college scholarships. She and 99 others are getting $40,000 college scholarships with a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon.
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To kick off Amazon Future Engineer's Ciara Remix Competition, the Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter surprised students at a Georgia high school. The competition gave students the chance to use the Python programming to remix one Ciara's song "SET."
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Photo by JORDAN STEAD
Students build robots at John Muir Elementary School—one of 30 Seattle schools where programs are supported by an Amazon Future Engineer Robotics grant. The grants provide opportunities for thousands of students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the U.S.
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Amazon employees volunteered to work with students on a coding project at a Washington, D.C. high school.
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Photo by JORDAN STEAD
Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, watches elementary school students participating in a program supported by an Amazon Future Engineer Robotics grant.
Two students in hijabs study coding at an Amazon-provided laptop
Elementary school students at a coding camp funded by Amazon Future Engineer.
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Students program a robot. They attend a school where Amazon provides robotics programming, which includes funding to launch FIRST robotics programs along with teacher professional development, $10,000 to expand access to computer science education, which could include field trips, hardware, and technology upgrades, and access to a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center.
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For International Women's Day, Amazonian Jenna Powers spoke with students at a high school in Florida. She and other Amazon leaders visited Amazon Future Engineer-funded computer science classrooms around the U.S. They talked about the importance of gender equality and how everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a career in computer science and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
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Photo by JORDAN STEAD
A student gets a high five during an activity funded by an Amazon Future Engineer Robotics grant.
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Schools that receive an Amazon Future Engineer Robotics grant get the opportunity to go on a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center.
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For International Women's Day, Amazonian Ardine Williams spoke with students at a high school in Maryland. She and other Amazon leaders visited Amazon Future Engineer-funded computer science classrooms around the U.S. They talked about the importance of gender equality and how everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a career in computer science and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
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Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipient Lauren Shanos (center). She and 99 other high school seniors got $40,000 college scholarships with a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon.
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Jeff Bezos made a surprise visit to Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. to celebrate a milestone for the Amazon Future Engineer program: funding computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities.
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Elementary school students at a coding camp funded by Amazon Future Engineer.
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Amazon employees volunteered to work with students on a coding project at a Washington, D.C. high school.
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A Texas high student shows a coding project during his class's graduation from an Amazon Future Engineer course.
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At Esperanza Academy Charter School in Philadelphia, a student attends a party to celebrate his class's graduation from an Amazon Future Engineer course.