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Westwood hosts first Amazon Future Engineer pilot program

Last Updated Nov 9, 2020 at 7:36 am MST

PHOTO. Supplied. FMPSD.

Students enrolled in Westwood Community High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science course can participate in Canada’s first Amazon Future Engineer Program.

The Fort McMurray high school is the only one in Canada approved to offer the program.

Computer science teacher at Westwood, Said El Mejdani said application for the program required American citizenship, as well as an American zip code.

El Mejdani decided to contact Amazon and explain some of the programs currently being offered by Westwood, and after an interview with the company, the application was approved.

The program gives students paid internship, scholarship opportunities of up to US$40,000 and $75 for cloud computing software.

Students will also potentially have paid visits to Amazon to see how robotics are used by the company.

While the school was originally accepted for the 2021/22 school year, El Mejdani contacted Amazon to bring in the program this year.

They will also have the opportunity for renewal after 2022.

“This year with all the challenges of COVID-19 and everything, we are having the best year ever for our Computer Science Program.”

The program is being offered at both junior high and high school levels.

In 2019, three 15-year-old students participated in a university level inventors competition, reaching the final stage.

Westwood also offers the only Machine Learning Program running in a high school in North America.

Also in 2019, El Mejdani received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence.