CUMBERLAND — George Mason University and the Maryland Chamber Foundation are teaming up with Amazon to provide a unique teaching externship to current and potential computer science teachers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The new collaboration will provide selected public middle school and high school teachers with an externship at Amazon during the summer, which will allow their students to experience potential careers in computer science. The teachers will complete an eight-week companion graduate-level project-based learning course at George Mason University.

Preference will be given to teachers who are interested in teaching computer science classes or becoming licensed to teach computer science or STEM courses and teachers who are interested in integrating computer science into their instruction. Educators can apply individually or in teams of two from their school. Amazon, George Mason and the Maryland Chamber Foundation will prioritize applications from underserved communities and Title 1 schools.

“Smart, hard-working and curious teachers are the heart and soul of our Amazon Future Engineer program — we applaud their unwavering commitment to their students,” said Shanika Hope, head of Amazon Future Engineer, U.S.

The externships will allow teachers to witness the type of work Amazon professionals conduct on a daily basis to better prepare their students for work in the industry. Teachers will be able to tie curriculum to real-world applications by designing and implementing classroom activities that will add relevance and meaning to classroom learning. Teachers will shadow Amazon teams and develop curriculum and classroom materials that integrate the Amazon technologies to expose their students to cutting-edge technologies and relevant careers.

The initiative is part of Amazon Future Engineer — Amazon’s childhood-to-career program that aims to inspire, educate and prepare students from underserved communities and groups underrepresented in the tech fields with access to high-quality computer science education. The program has supported more than 550,000 K-12 students in more than 5,000 schools nationwide. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science and STEM education and has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science and STEM education.

The program provides externs with a stipend and professional development credits.

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