WATERBORO — Massabesic High School will be one of 2,000 high schools to receive funding from the Amazon Future Engineer program that aims to address the need for computer science professionals.

Computer science – encompassing coding, robotics, forensics, and a variety of STEM-based career fields – is the one of the fastest growing fields with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that there will be a deficit of one million computer science graduates in the United States by the close of the decade.

Amazon, through a partnership with curriculum provider Edhesive, will supply students and instructors with the resources to help them make the most of Introduction to Computer Science and Advanced Placement Computer Science classes.

“I believe this program has the ability to open up possibilities to Massabesic students that they previously were not aware of,” Massabesic Principal James Hand said.

Brian Laich, the primary instructor of Massabesic’s computer science courses, will oversee the program when it begins in the fall.

“The most important thing about any issue we face in the near future is that multiple perspectives will be needed to solve them in nearly every case,” Laich said. “The experiences and perspectives of students at Massabesic and similar schools will be a needed component in computer science and many other areas of study.”

The program is focused on underrepresented, underprivileged and underserved communities in the United States. Classes in kindergarten through eighth grade and in high school, and scholarships and internships will help students pursue a career in computer science or another STEM-related field.

The program began in November 2018 as a component of Amazon’s community outreach program, working to increase exposure to technology and help prospective scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians.

Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science education across the country.

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