Friday, July 15, 2022

Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft at #CSTA2022

I blog about what interests me or stirs my curiosity. One thing that fits that is what are the really big tech companies doing to support CS education. So I am going to write briefly about the presence of Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft (alphabetical order). Anyone else notice that we never see Apple at CSTA?

All of these companies have sessions at their booths and as regular conference sessions to talk about what they offer. If you are at CSTA you should at least stop by and see what they have to offer. It’s a lot.

Amazon and the Amazon Future Engineer Program

Amazon had one of the large end cap booths with a lot of people and materials. Their main emphasis was the Amazon Future Engineers program. This program offers curriculum for all levels of K-12 as well as resources and opportunities for teachers.

Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities.

Google and programs' for CS Teachers Another big booth on an end cap. Lots of color and fun graphics. And swings! Also free messages.

The big thing here is Google’s CS First program. This is a great collection of curriculum and supporting resources that can be used during the school day or as an afterschool program

Meta and Meta Engineer for a week. You’re probably not surprised that the link for more information on this is at Facebook. Engineer for the Week | Facebook but also at Engineer for the Week ( The curriculum has a strong “coding for good” component.

Started in 2018, Meta's Engineer for the Week is a free program that introduces engineering to learners (ages 11-18) historically underrepresented in STEM. Over the course of 15 - 20 hours, learners work alongside adult facilitators to build tech prototypes that address a social issue of their choice.

Microsoft and MakeCode, MakeCode Arcade, and Minecraft

Also a nice sized booth on an end cap. Not as fancy as Google’s it gives the impression it was designed by software people not marketing experts. The emphasis was on writing code, especially with micro:bits, using MakeCode, games with MakeCode Arcade, and teaching CS using Minecraft. Lots of things including Micro:bit powered arcade games to touch and explore.

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