Amazon has launched virtual school trips for primary and secondary school students to go behind the scenes at an Amazon fulfilment centre, exploring the technologies that power Amazon’s operations and inspiring students to learn more about jobs of the future.
Available for free and on-demand for schools across the UK, the tours teach students how computer science, engineering, and people work together to fulfil customer orders at Amazon. They will also get the opportunity to meet and hear about the careers of Amazon engineers who make it all possible.
According to a recent study from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) on behalf of the Sutton Trust educational charity, half of school leaders in England have had to cut school trips and outings due to financial pressures, with children in disadvantaged areas more likely to lose out. During these challenging times for educators, the virtual tours from Amazon offer schools a free, on-demand learning resource that can transport students to a new environment remotely from their classroom.
A recent YouGov study of 1,000 secondary school teachers, commissioned by Amazon, revealed that more than two thirds (68%) of teachers say children don’t have enough information to understand future career opportunities that involve computer science. A similar number (69%) also believe that education in computer science better prepares students for future careers in all sectors.
"By taking students behind the scenes at an Amazon fulfilment centre and giving them real-life insight into the power of technology, we hope to inspire a passion for computer science and open up a world of career opportunities for them to consider in the future.”
“At Amazon, we are passionate about increasing opportunity for students to learn more about computer science, no matter what career they go on to choose,” said Lauren Kisser, Technology Director at Amazon and UK Ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer. “By taking students behind the scenes at an Amazon fulfilment centre and giving them real-life insight into the power of technology, we hope to inspire a passion for computer science and open up a world of career opportunities for them to consider in the future.”
During the tour, students travel to different “tour stops” to learn how Amazon delivers products from your online shopping cart, directly to your door. Computer science concepts like algorithms, cloud computing, efficiency, databases, quality control, machine learning, hardware and software are all introduced and explained in real-life context. The secondary school tour, recommended for ages 11+, dives even deeper on the computer science, robotics and machine learning involved in Amazon’s fulfilment process.
Support for teachers
The best experience for students is for teachers to ‘host’ the tour as part of their lesson, and we make it easy for teachers to do this with our Teacher Toolkit. This provides educators with a facilitation guide, student worksheets and extension activities, all aligned to the national curriculum for computer science. Teachers can use these materials to maximise the possibilities of computer science learning for their students and help to set them up for success before and after the tour.
The virtual experience is flexible, so teachers can choose either a tour for primary or secondary students, and which way to take part; a full tour (45 - 60 min) or split in half to tour over multiple days (25 - 30 min each day). Students can even compete against their classmates as they explore the technology and careers of the future.
More ways to explore STEM careers with Amazon
At Amazon, we are committed to helping young people develop the skills they need for their future careers, particularly when it comes to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Amazon Future Engineer is our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme that offers children and young adults the opportunity to get involved in free STEM-related activities, training, and apprenticeships. The programme is designed to inspire, educate, and equip people with the tools they need to become the inventors, innovators, and engineers of tomorrow.
The programme includes Class Chats, virtual career talks delivered directly to your primary or secondary school classroom by Amazon employees working in diverse fields; the Cyber Robotics Challenge, a free virtual challenge to learn programming basics for students aged eight and above; and free coding courses from Turinglab, a fun, engaging and accessible way for students aged 11-16 to learn the fundamentals of Python coding.
Read more about Amazon’s resources for STEM education.