Amazon hands out awards to exceptional computer science and robotics teachers

The Amazon Future Engineer logo

Amazon has awarded ten computer science and robotics teachers its Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Award. It wanted to congratulate the teachers on providing an education in those fields to students from underserved and historically underrepresented communities so they can get into the fields of computer science and robotics.

Discussing the award, Victor Reinoso, Global Director, Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon in the Community, said:

“It has been an especially difficult year for teachers, so we are excited to recognize their hard work and commitment to their students' successes. The Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Award recipients work diligently to help students in underserved and underrepresented communities build life-changing skills to propel their futures in computer science. We celebrate their tireless efforts to increase access to technology and computer literacy in their classrooms and beyond.”

Ten teachers from across the United States were recognised for their work, noted below:

  • Mark Ahrens, Texas High School, Texarkana, TX;
  • Cesar Barreto, Explorations Academy, Bronx, NY;
  • Sheena Birgans-Wright, Prairie-Hills Junior High School, Markham, IL;
  • Harold Brown, Newark Collegiate Academy, Newark, NJ;
  • Melissa Collins, John P. Freeman Optional School, Memphis, TN;
  • Christopher Hatten, KIPP Central City Academy, New Orleans, LA;
  • Lorand Incze, Alisal High School, Salinas, CA;
  • Terry Laesser, Melvindale High School, Melvindale, MI;
  • Aris Pangilinan, Cardozo Education Campus, Washington, D.C.;
  • Michelle Pierce, Mallard Creek STEM Academy, Charlotte, NC.

To be selected for an award, the teachers had to meet certain criteria. They had to promote diversity and inclusion in computer science, get a recommendation from a school administrator, and have compelling anecdotes from the school and their students. Scholarship America then reviewed the applications and selected ten recipients to win the awards.

Aside from the award, Amazon provided the winners with Amazon Future Engineer swag and a package valued at $30,000 which included $25,000 to expand the computer science and robotics lessons at the respective schools and a $5,000 cash reward for the nominated educators for the work they put in.

If you’re a teacher in computer science or robotics or know somebody who is, you can sign up for an email reminder to apply in the fall for the next Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Award.

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