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Camp Amazon – over $150 000 STEM program for 100 school students

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Amazon have launched Camp Amazon to encourage children from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science. The new program will give 100 school students in NSW and VIC the opportunity to participate in a wide-ranging two-year program to develop their STEM skills.

The students will engage each term in STEM activities including coding camps and workshops undertaken at Amazon’s fulfilment centres in either Melbourne or Sydney after school or during summer holiday. The sessions will be led by Amazon and industry leaders in the STEM field.

Craig Fuller, Amazon Australia Director of Operations said: “We are excited to launch Camp Amazon.  We recognise that the jobs of tomorrow require a strong aptitude for STEM, we see it in our growing business, and want to be part of the solution. We want to set up children for long-term success.  In Australia, there are 100,000 students currently involved in studying some type of STEM program outside of the school curriculum, but with over 3.2 million students enrolled in Years 1-10, the majority are still lacking exposure to the subjects. Through Camp Amazon we hope to see the long-term benefits of helping create a future workforce for Australia by equipping students with the skills they will need for tomorrow.”

Tye Brady, Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist was in Australia for the launch of Camp Amazon and held a presentation for 25 students in Year 5 and 6 from Hoxton Park Public School said: “Amazon has long been focused on the next generation by providing resources and igniting passion for STEM education in the communities that it operates worldwide. Amazon continues to create great new jobs each year using STEM skills within our 175 fulfilment centres around the world. I am excited to be in Australia and share first hand my knowledge and passion to young students from Hoxton Park Public School and donate $10 000 for the school to buy STEM resources.”

Over the two-year program students will work alongside industry leaders to offer their insights to students. They will play an active role in the program and support students’ existing studies as well as focusing on areas such as computer science, process engineering, robotics and IT.

Kylie Donovan, Principal at Hoxton Park said, “It is fantastic to see this investment in the education of children in the local community. STEM is a critical area where we must inspire students and nurture their passion. Camp Amazon is another tool in the space. As a futures focused school, we see this as complementing students' learning and can see this leading to more students pursuing STEM courses in further education.”

The program will follow the students over a two-year period, allowing them to gain education across the fields of STEM through after school programs and school holiday camps. Upon completion, successful students will be awarded a $500 Amazon voucher to support them in their future studies or careers, with 10 participating schools being allocated $10,000 for communal use STEM equipment. Note: Submissions closed 31 May 2019.

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