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Girls Who Code: Gwynn Park High School’s Future Engineers

Girls Who Code: Gwynn Park High School’s Future Engineers

  • In the News |
  • March 7, 2019

Women are often underrepresented in STEM fields like computer science—but not in the AP Computer Science class at Gwynn Park High School, where students are part of the Amazon Future Engineer program and girls make up nearly half of the class.

To commend the school’s success recruiting female students into the field, staff from tech giant Amazon visited for International Women’s Day to discuss the importance of learning to code and career pathways in computer engineering.

One lesson imparted: a strong math and science foundation is critical.

“The logic you’re learning in class now will serve you well in the future,” advised Ardine Williams, Vice President of Workforce Development at Amazon HQ2. “For me, it’s like putting together a puzzle. When someone comes to me with a problem, it’s an opportunity to solve a puzzle — to deconstruct it and figure out where to start to get to the outcome.”

As an Amazon Future Engineer school, Gwynn Park students receive access to coursework that prepares them for success in computer science fields. Graduating seniors are eligible for a $10,000 annual college scholarship for four years and students may apply for internships with Amazon during their freshman and sophomore years of college, as long as they are enrolled in an engineering course.

IT Academy Programming Teacher Keith Brice was instrumental in bringing the program to Gwynn Park. He says Amazon’s Edhesive curriculum encourages students to work collaboratively to solve problems.

“With this program, rarely are students not able to figure out problems on their own,” Brice said. “It has really freed me up to do other things, like applying for grants and outside resources. I’m not just acting as a teacher, but a facilitator of all aspects of the real world.”