We’re kicking off the first-ever Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Awards to honor and recognize seven all-star Amazon Future Engineer teachers and their schools working diligently to help students in underserved and underrepresented communities build life-changing skills to propel their futures in computer science—with prize packages valued at more than $25,000. School principals, administrators, peers, and students can nominate their teachers to apply, and teachers can apply directly, through March 12, 2020.

Seven award recipients will be chosen from across the country—two high school teachers from the Eastern U.S., two in the West, two in the Central region, and one Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant teacher. Scholarship America will judge applications and select the award recipients based on: their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion within computer science education, a recommendation from a school administrator, and compelling, personal anecdotes about their school and students.

“The more than 2,400 Amazon Future Engineer teachers go the extra mile to bring exciting and life-changing computer science education to their students. We are proud to be able to support the teachers’ mission and the hundreds of thousands of hard-working students across the country who benefit,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer, Amazon. “With this first round of awards, we are thrilled to recognize and celebrate these teachers as they make it possible for more students from a wide variety of backgrounds to have access to this increasingly important field.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a small percentage from underserved backgrounds. Students from underserved backgrounds are 8 to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.

Amazon Future Engineer funds Introductory and Advanced Placement computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools serving more than 100,000 students in underserved and underrepresented communities. Amazon’s funding also provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support every day of the week for both teachers and students. All educators and students participating in this program have access to a no-cost membership with AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students comprehensive resources for building skills in cloud technology. Students will receive content to learn about cloud computing and access to the AWS cloud for their coding projects.

The Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant is currently in more than 150 schools, supporting thousands of students. This program provides a variety of elementary, middle, and high schools with robotics programming, which includes funding to launch FIRST robotics clubs along with teacher professional development, an additional $10,000 to expand access to computer science education at each school, which could include field trips, hardware, and technology upgrades, and access to a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center.

The schools of award recipients will each receive a prize package valued at over $25,000, which may include a variety of needed donations to their classrooms, STEM toys and activities, school upgrades and enhancements and more. They will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to re:MARS, Amazon’s AI event covering a diverse array of topics and themes related to Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space.

Teachers who have questions about the application and who want to start their application right away can visit: AmazonFutureEngineer.com