Amazon is dishing out 100 $10,000 (£7600) grants to schools in underrepresented communities to encourage students to take up computer sciences and robotics.
In partnership with First, Amazon has launched the Future Engineer Robotics Grant, offering a range of support and development opportunities for both students and teachers alongside the cash lump sum.
The schools, situated across 21 US states, will receive support to launch competitive First Robotics teams, including training for teachers, helping inspire underprivileged kids to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects.
Alongside this support, schools will receive $10,000 to expand computer science education, and students will get the chance to tour a local Amazon fulfillment centre.
“Amazon is helping First in our goal to make robotics teams and programs available in every school,” First’s founder Dean Kamen said.
“In First, every kid on every team can go pro. They gain a hands-on learning pathway in technology, computer science and engineering that propels them forward and inspires innovation.”
Amazon’s consumer worldwide chief executive Jeff Wilke added: “We can’t wait to bring thousands of students into Amazon’s fulfillment centers to show them the amazing technology operating behind the scenes.
“These students are the innovators of the future, and we’re confident that this hands-on experience provided by Amazon Future Engineer will inspire them in their academic pursuits and beyond.”
According to research conducted by Brandeis University, students of First’s robotics programmes show significant gains in STEM knowledge and career interest, and 50 per cent of its alumni major in engineering or technology degrees.