Amazon Future Engineer, our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme aimed at increasing access to computer science education for students from underserved and underrepresented communities, has this year reached more than 57,000 European young adults through the collaborative impact initiative Meet and Code.
Meet and Code is Europe’s largest digital skills programme, which empowers children and youth across Europe with essential digital skills for a brighter future. The micro-granting initiative sponsors digital skills workshops and events hosted by non-profit organisations, and is aligned with the EU Code Week.
This year, with more than 1,300 events funded in 703 cities from 25 different European countries, Meet and Code has offered free computer science-related activities, training, and apprenticeships to inspire, educate and equip young people with digital and coding skills.
Together with Meet and Code, we share the goal of making computer science and digital skills accessible to all students, regardless of their background, and especially to those from underserved and underrepresented communities – making this partnership the perfect match. As Michael Vollmann, Europe Lead Education, Amazon in the Community, said, “We realised that we wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel but join and make what works even stronger together with others. This is what we call collective impact."
Highlights from Meet and Code events this year
- With the help of the non-profit Hacker School, Amazon volunteers introduced attendees to the world of Python, one of the most commonly used coding languages. 12-year-old Malu who attended the event said: “I really enjoyed the event and it was very exciting to learn from the Amazon volunteers.” Reflecting on the success of the event, Tobias N., Associate Solution Architect, AWS, said: “It’s amazing to see barriers being broken as young people, regardless of their background, come together to explore the world of coding. This event was a clear demonstration that, given right opportunities, everyone can excel."
- Schools took part in virtual Amazon Future Engineer FC Tours, allowing students to discover the technology of Amazon’s fulfilment centres. Renate L., a teacher at a participating school in Germany, said that the technology “shows the use of artificial intelligence, career orientation and parallels to our everyday world,” helping students to think outside the box and stimulate new ideas.
- With Future Learning Lab, Amazon ran a school workshop in the AWS office in Vienna. Under the theme "Bringing stories to life with artificial intelligence", students learned how to use AI to write a good story. AWS employees gave students an insight into their day-to-day work and the students had the opportunity to ask questions.
- Amazon Volunteers gave a virtual Class Chat at a Meet and Code event in a school in Nuneaton, UK, during which students received micro:bit training to learn different ways of using these devices. For Jen H., the teacher in charge of the event, “Meet and Code is an absolutely brilliant initiative that has provided us with valuable experiences.”
Preparing the next generation for the careers of the future
We understand the transformative power of education, believing it has the ability to inspire creativity and unlock human potential. Since launching in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer has become a prime example of our commitment to expand access to computer science education, and has expanded its support to millions of students, teachers, and education systems across the world.
We also recognise that not everyone has equal access to educational opportunities. That's why we are deeply committed to bridging the digital divide and increasing access to education for people from all backgrounds – especially to youth from underserved populations and historically underrepresented minorities. In this year’s Meet and Code edition, 47% of participants were from underserved groups, where the share of female participants was 41%.
We’re committed to furthering digital literacy and access to skills for Europe’s youth through partnerships to advance collective action and drive impact. With ongoing partners like Meet and Code, we will continue to expand access to computer science and digital skills across Europe, so that more people can become the inventors, innovators, and engineers of tomorrow.