CSRA students get chance to celebrate, study computer science week

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 5:29 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - This week is computer science education week, and students at A.R. Johnson are getting a unique look into the world of computer science.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.4 million computer science jobs available this year and only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill them. That’s where Amazon and middle and high schools across the country come in.

With their fulfillment center being built a few miles down the road, Amazon is now investing in the next generation of engineers in Richmond County. The Future Engineers program aims to teach students from underrepresented and underserved communities to try their hands at computer science and coding.

Advanced placement students at A.R. Johnson will be able to watch videos and debug programs in different coding languages.

“They pretty much provide the funding and the curriculum for us to teach,” Christopher Sears, a computer science teacher at A.R. Johnson, said.

The program even allows students to video chat with Amazon employees to talk about careers in the field and at Amazon.

“When you can actually go and talk to a tech professional and see from their perspective, it kind of opens up their eyes and they see, ‘Hey, I just talked to someone who has done it, I can do this too,’” Sears said.

The program piqued the interest of students like Camden Wray.

“It’s something I’m more interested in than other things,” Wray said. “Most of my classes I’m not interested in, but this one is definitely something I’m very interested in.”

The 13-year-old has been interested in coding for about a year but never knew how to go about making it a career.

“I didn’t realize you didn’t need much experience,” Wray said. “I thought you needed a lot of experience to get good jobs.”

Sears says the program gives students hands-on experience from a young age that they wouldn’t get otherwise.

“You have so many things that are out there, so many things on the internet that they can see,” Sears said. “But they don’t get hands-on and familiar with it.”

A.R. Johnson is one of more than 2,000 across the country to take part in the amazon future engineer program, opening the door for students to get into the field.

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