Students across the U.S. are experiencing disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. High school students—especially high school seniors—are in a particularly difficult situation as they navigate the end of their high school careers, from home.
The College Board, the nonprofit that runs the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, which provides college-level coursework and gives students an opportunity to earn college credit, estimates that more than 200,000 students have started taking the AP Computer Science course in high school this school year. With most schools now transitioned to virtual learning, thousands are at risk for missing this year’s end-of-year online AP Computer Science exams in May due to lack of access to a laptop. And even those with a device at home may struggle to complete the remaining lessons needed to prepare for the exam without the support system that schools provide. Missing the exams will impact students’ ability to earn college credits which are recognized by universities as part of successful AP exam completion. College Board estimates that this disruption has the potential to especially affect students from underrepresented communities.
Now more than ever, Amazon is committed to supporting high school computer science students in need across the country as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. In response to Covid-19, we are immediately making the following free resources available:
Free online computer science courses:
Amazon Future Engineer is opening up free online access for all to our sponsored Edhesive curriculum for both AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A courses. Students, parents, and teachers can access these courses here.
Amazon is donating 4,000 laptops to AP computer science students who otherwise do not have access to a device at home to take the exams. Students receiving laptops will get to keep them to support their educational journey beyond the COVID-19 outbreak. Students without a laptop at home can apply through College Board.
Free online test prep:
Nonprofit CodeVA, with the support of Amazon Future Engineer, will begin offering free, online AP Computer Science test prep sessions leading up to the AP exams open to all preparing. Students can participate in the twice-weekly prep sessions here.
"Students and teachers are showing inspiring focus, resolve, and resilience during this transition to at-home learning," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO, Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. "Even when it’s business as usual, computer science is a tough subject. We are hopeful, during this most unusual time, that providing free online learning resources and laptops will help thousands of students do what they set out to do earlier this school year—conquer their AP Computer Science exams with confidence."
"We surveyed thousands of students from all over the country, and they overwhelmingly want to test," said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP & Instruction. "With our transition to at-home AP exams, Amazon's laptop donation to students who do not have a device at home comes at a critical time to ensure our AP Computer Science students have the opportunity to earn the college credit they've worked toward throughout the year."
"We know every student deserves the opportunity to study computer science, but not every student has the chance to do so at home now that schools around the country are closed," said Hadi Partovi, CEO and founder of Code.org. "Which is why we are so excited about these opportunities from Amazon Future Engineer and the College Board that offer courses, laptops and test prep all free of charge. Together, we're all going to get through this and help students succeed."
Students, parents, and teachers can learn more about the ways Amazon Future Engineer is supporting students of all ages, or learn more about how Amazon is supporting its communities, partners, customers, and employees.