F.I.R.S.T. Educator Chosen for Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador Program
Rossman Media on behalf of AmazonVivian Brownlow Chosen for Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador Program
Mansfield, OH (October 19, 2023) – Vivian Brownlow, F.I.R.S.T. School educator and intervention specialist, has been selected among hundreds of eligible teachers for the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador Program.
Launched this year, the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador Program is a two-year, paid fellowship designed to increase access to computer science (CS) and technology for all students and educators. During the commitment, Ambassadors will engage in community listening, pilot differentiated strategies for teaching CS, share their insights, receive professional development opportunities, and connect with like-minded educators at industry conferences. Brownlow is one of 50 educators from across the United States selected for the program’s inaugural cohort. The impressive group includes K-12th grade educators from as far west as Hawaii and east as Maine, each with experience using Amazon Future Engineer-sponsored curriculums, such as BootUp, Code.org, or Project STEM. Ambassadors were chosen after a highly selective process based on a variety of criteria, including their commitment to increasing equitable access to computer science education and personal anecdotes about their teaching experience and school.
“We are excited to launch the inaugural Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador cohort and celebrate the phenomenal commitment each of these educators have made to help increase access to computer science and technology opportunities in their classrooms, local communities and beyond,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of philanthropic education initiatives at Amazon. “Broad access to computer science resources is a critical enabler to positively impact the economic mobility of students. If we want more equitable outcomes for our students and their families, we must prioritize giving them the computer science literacy skills high earning potential jobs demand.”
Brownlow’s first project was to oversee a local listening tour, which started during the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassadors’ first convening in Seattle in July. During the kickoff session, educators shared their experiences and thoughts with the Amazon Future Engineer Community, which includes technology professionals, decision-makers and scholars. The convening included tours of the Amazon Spheres and the AWS Skills Center Seattle. Ambassadors learned about Amazon Future Engineer program offerings and resources that can greatly impact STEM education and help students explore careers of the future and were able to bring the products and curriculum back to their classrooms.
Brownlow’s role as an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador allows her to seek out and actively listen to her community about their experiences, thoughts, and struggles with STEM & CS education and how these affect future careers and the workforce. Active listening can be informal conversations and Q&A activities with anybody in the community who wants to address and be heard on these topics. The results of the conversations will be reported and become part of regional and national data that could impact future decisions on curricula, careers and legislation.
“Through the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador program, my students get to be at the forefront of trending technology tools and curriculum. I get to give them (students) more options than before through Project STEM and AWS Spark to not only learn about computer science concepts and cloud computing and sustainability but also to become independent learners who can take pride in their achievements,” Brownlow explained.
“I would not be able to be part of this amazing opportunity if not for the support of the amazing Principal of F.I.R.S.T. School, Vanessa Wagner, who is a leader through and through. If anyone wants to be heard or learn about the free education resources available through Amazon Future Engineer, please email me. I am listening.”
F.I.R.S.T. School Principal Vanessa Wagner expressed her pride for Brownlow’s achievement: "Vivian has been an instrumental part of integrating more hands-on technology and STEM opportunities into our classrooms. We hope that through Vivian's passion for teaching and her love for technology, we are able to create new and exciting opportunities for our students. Vivian seeking out opportunities like this and being part of programs such as Amazon Future Engineers is what makes her an excellent educator and someone we are so proud to have on our staff."
Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s global philanthropic computer science education initiative, aims to increase student access to computer science education. The program funds high-quality computer science curriculum and educator professional learning to help school districts implement sustainable K–12 computer science initiatives. As part of this effort, Amazon funds the development of customized curriculum that accounts for the unique cultural perspectives, interests, and experiences of Black, Latino, Native American (BLNA) students. Each year Amazon Future Engineer awards hundreds of students with four-year, up to $40,000 scholarships and paid industry internships to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. In addition to its Scholarship program, Amazon Future Engineer offers virtual career tours and project-based learning modules that bring role models to classrooms to help students explore computer science through real-world experiences.
Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center provides specialized academic and support services to 13 school districts and over 20,000 students in Crawford, Morrow and Richland Counties. Client districts receive services from curriculum, gifted and special education consultants, speech pathologists, psychologists, special education teachers, occupational therapists and physical therapists.