Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced the Canadian launch of the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge, a free computer science education program for elementary school students. As record numbers of children experience remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cyber Robotics Challenge will be a tool for teachers and parents to help students learn coding skills in the virtual classroom.
“This is an unprecedented school year for parents and teachers, who are looking for new ways to engage students who are learning from home,” said Susan Ibach, Head of Amazon Future Engineer Canada. “Amazon is committed to ensuring that children and young adults – especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities – have the resources and skills to build their best future. Amazon’s Cyber Robotics Challenge helps students better understand computer science and its real-world applications, and engages those who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to build coding skills at an early stage of their education.”
Developed in partnership with online learning specialist CoderZ, and distributed in partnership with computer science education non-profit Canada Learning Code, the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge teaches students the basics of coding and allows them to practice their skills by completing a series of exercises that demonstrate how Amazon uses computer science and robotics to deliver products to customers. Lessons focus on a series of ‘robot training missions’ in which students code a virtual Hercules robot operating in an Amazon fulfillment centre.
The Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge curriculum was designed to complement other STEM and computer science coursework and can be broken into four, 45-minute or three, 60-minute lessons. The Challenge can be accessed free of charge, in English and French, by visiting the program Web site.
Studies have shown inspiring young children in STEM and computer science motivates them to stay interested in the field long-term, providing a critical foundation for future learning. The Canadian launch of the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge is the first step in a broader rollout of programming in Canada that reflects the company’s commitment to inspiring, educating, and training underrepresented and underserved children and young people to pursue careers in computer science.
“Computer science is not a mandated part of our education system, which results in inequitable access to high-quality and comprehensive foundational courses across Canada. As computer science becomes an increasingly important part of our society, it is crucial that all students are given equal opportunities to access these foundational skills so they too can be inspired by the possibilities,” said Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO, Canada Learning Code.