AP Computer Science Teacher Accepted into the Amazon Future Engineer Program

Sarah Long , Reporter / Editor

Helping her students develop more twenty-first century hard skills, the Amazon Future Engineer Program accepted AP computer science teacher Gina Lewis into their program. Amazon developed the program to encourage students to pursue a career in computer science or engineering.

“Amazon was wanting to show how computer science is changing and shaping our world and creating opportunities for students. They were curious about what our plan was for computer science in the future and what my personal hopes were for the program,” Lewis said.

While Lewis went through two rounds of applications, the program ultimately benefits the students. The program consists of curriculum, scholarships, and possible internships for participating students. Students who complete multiple years of the Amazon Future Engineer program may be eligible for the yearly $10,000 for college scholarship. Those who participate in the high school program may apply for internship opportunities with Amazon their sophomore and junior year of college. Amazon bases their internship acceptance on program participation, financial need, and interest in pursuing computer science and engineering.

“This was something I did for my students. It was definitely not something I took on for myself. I had to really reflect on what I wanted for the computer science program here at Southside and what my personal desires were for my training to further expand my knowledge in computer science,” Lewis said.

In addition to starting the curriculum immediately, Lewis also plans to build interest in STEM fields by bringing in engineers to talk to and mentor her students. While the program offers new computer science class to students, Lewis must also complete work. Lewis must complete 120 hours of professional development to stay in the program, in addition to completing assignments just like her students.

“I personally hope to complete my training with Amazon Future Engineer program and earn the ability to stay within the program for future years. The financial value to the school district is immense because we have access to curriculum for 3 of my 5 subjects for free plus the mentorship from engineers,” Lewis said.