Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced a new addition to its Amazon Future Engineer program – a music remix competition that teaches students how to write code that makes music. Alongside Georgia Tech and their learn-to-code-through music platform, EarSketch, participating high school students have the opportunity to win prizes by composing an original remix featuring original music stems from Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Ciara and her song, “SET” from her latest album Beauty Marks. The competition is intended to uniquely activate young people to try computer science and coding. All high school students across the country are encouraged to enter the competition now through January 20th. Teaching guides are available for teachers to bring the competition to their classroom, or as part of their introductory computer science curriculum.
Students will use computer science and coding to build their remix using musical samples from Ciara’s song “SET,” as well as other sounds from the EarSketch library. Students will learn looping (repeating) to extend the length of their song, use strings to create new beats, create custom functions representing different song sections, and learn to upload their own sounds to the EarSketch library.
“We are excited to support the innovative and unique work Georgia Tech and EarSketch are pioneering to give students across the country more access to computer science, coding, and music,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “This competition will give thousands of students from underserved and underrepresented communities the opportunity to try something new and fun. It will build their confidence and, most importantly, encourage them to think creatively.”
Students and teachers can learn more about the competition details at www.amazonfutureengineer.com/earsketch – all high school students are encouraged to participate, either in class or on their own. The top three student winners will each receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington to be an “Amazon Future Engineer” for the day. Additional winners will receive a PreSonus Audiobox 96 Studio and Amazon.com Gift Cards. The competition opens today and will close on Monday, January 20 at 11:59PM EST.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a small percentage from underserved backgrounds. In multiple research studies, students using the EarSketch platform significantly increased their positive attitudes towards computing and their intentions to persist in computing, with particularly significant impacts on students from groups historically underrepresented in the field. Female students expressed even greater gains in computing confidence, motivation, and identity as compared to their male counterparts.
“Music and coding are both highly prevalent today, but coding is less apparent—EarSketch provides an amazing way to experience these creative disciplines simultaneously,” said Dr. Roxanne Moore, Senior Research Engineer at Georgia Tech and project lead for the remix competition.
“We know that creativity is the key to success in both music and computer science,” said Professor Jason Freeman, Chair of the School of Music at Georgia Tech and co-creator of the EarSketch platform. “We’re thrilled to partner with Amazon to support more students as they unlock their creative potential through EarSketch.”
To date, more than 375,000 students in all 50 states and over 100 countries have used EarSketch. Programs like EarSketch serve Georgia Tech’s mission to meet the demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professionals by opening the eyes of more students to these engaging and important subjects.
Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire millions of kids to explore computer science; provides over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; awards 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offers guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About Amazon in the Community
Amazon is committed to helping more children and young adults, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities, have the resources and skills they need to build their best future. Amazon focuses on building long-term, innovative, and high impact programs that leverage Amazon’s unique assets and culture. Initiatives include Amazon Future Engineer, designed to inspire and excite 10 million children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities each year to pursue an education in computer science, as well as programs that support immediate needs, including addressing family homelessness through donations and housing a homeless shelter in its Seattle headquarters, as well as global relief efforts for people in need following natural disasters.
About Georgia Tech
The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is one of the nation’s leading research universities — a university that embraces change while continually Creating the Next. The next generation of leaders. The next breakthrough startup company. The next lifesaving medical treatment.
Georgia Tech provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Institute has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked among the nation’s top five public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers degrees through the Colleges of Computing, Design, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business.