Partnership will Enable District to Create Computer Science Curriculum for Students in Grades 6-12
The Greater Johnstown School District has been accepted into the Amazon Future Engineer Program, a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. The partnership will enable GJSD to build a computer science curriculum for its students, with the district receiving support through two Amazon partners: Project STEM (focused on grades 6-8) and Edhesive (grades 9-12).
Starting this fall, Johnstown students in grades 9-12 will be able to take AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, and Intro to Computer Science. Warren Street students in grade 6 and JJSHS students in grades 7 and 8 will be offered exploratory computer science classes as a way to better understand the course options that will eventually be available to them in high school.
The course additions and ongoing curriculum support from Amazon comes at no cost to the district.
“We are so grateful to be partnering with Amazon and to be able to enhance the highly relevant opportunities that we provide our students at Johnstown,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw said. “Our district will benefit in many different ways from this partnership — the greatest benefit of all comes when our Johnstown graduates gain from opportunities that give them an edge to be better prepared for college and continued education or the workforce.”
Nicole Panton, the district’s Director of Curriculum & Professional Development described the Amazon Future Engineers designation as a “win-win” for the district. “Johnstown has been without a computer science program for several years and this partnership provides us with the opportunity to grow the curriculum from the ground up, with no actual program costs. A robust computer science program is relevant to today’s world, and will benefit Johnstown students for generations to come,” she said.
Additional benefits of the Amazon Future Engineers partnership include potential field trips where students can explore different careers and see real world application of computer science skills, eligibility for college scholarships, and access to AWS Educate (Amazon Web Services), an international cloud-based network that allows students to sharpen their skills and connects them to potential employers after graduation.