Amazon to offer virtual peek at robotics center

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Teachers and students will have access to an interactive tour of an Amazon facility.

As part of the Amazon Future Engineer program, the e-tail giant and FIRST, a non-profit technology mentoring program for children in grades K-12, are offering a live stream of an interactive, educational tour inside an Amazon robotics fulfillment center. On Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. ET, the tour will stream on the Amazon-owned Twitch video streaming platform, hosted by Twitch influencer Deejay Knight.

On the virtual tour, students will see first-hand how teams of associates work alongside robotic technologies to fulfill customer orders. They will see where inventory items are stowed into the system, learn how robots bring storage pods to fulfillment center associates to pick customer items, and see trucks being loaded with thousands of customer orders. The goal of the tour is to inspire more students to learn about robotics and to illustrate the importance of a computer science education.

“This is an awesome opportunity for students across the country to learn about the innovative robotics and computer science technology that goes into delivering packages for our Amazon customers,” said Dave Clark, Amazon senior VP, worldwide operations. “We know that today’s students are the innovators of tomorrow, and with Amazon Future Engineer, we will continue to provide opportunities that pique students’ curiosity and expand their educational horizons with fun, interactive, and creative experiences.”

Amazon currently provides more than 150 schools across the country with robotics programming, which includes funding to launch FIRST robotics teams along with teacher professional development, an additional $10,000 to expand access to computer science education at each school, and access to a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center as part of the Amazon Future Engineer program. 

Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer provides over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to intro or AP computer science courses; awards 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offers guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. 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 $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.