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Amazon presents $50k for Boone County schools STEM program, hosts students for day of activities

Amazon presented Conner Middle School students and Superintendent Matt Turner with a special gift — $50,000 to support the district’s STEM program when students visited the NKY air hub Friday.

Approximately 22 female students who showed special interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas went with Conner Middle School to Amazon’s STEM Day experience that encouraged students to interact, think creatively, and imagine future innovators in themselves.

Employees at Amazon’s NKY air hub engaged Conner Middle School students in STEM-related activities. (Photo provided)

The fun-filled experience of activities for Amazon’s STEM Day started with a VIP tour of the air hub and 800,000 square-foot robotic sort center led by Assistant General Manager, Liz Hamedi. During the tour, students got to see STEM principles at work and learn about the innovative and advanced technology that enables Amazon to process millions of customer packages per week. Then, the middle school dove into Vex IQ Gen 2 Robotic kits competition, inspiring them to build their own robotic devices with the help of Amazon’s Air female team.
To support the mission of Boone County School, VP of Global Air Sarah Rhoads announced Amazon was also donating $50,000 to Conner Middle School, which will be used primarily to enhance its current STEM program.

Superintendent Matt Turner of Boone County Schools accepted the check on behalf of the school district.

Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, Jacqueline Coleman, also made a guest appearance to underscore the partnership between Amazon and Boone County Schools, in addition to noting the importance of STEM learnings and highlighting that the jobs of tomorrow require a stronger aptitude for STEM skills and education programs.

The students assembled robotic devices.

“In order to take advantage of Kentucky’s historic economic growth, it is incumbent upon all of us- schools, government and private industries, to work together to create a highly skilled workforce,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. “That’s why announcements like this excite me because it gives students from Conner Middle School more exposure to STEM education, providing them a leg up on jobs of the future.”
“The Boone County Schools are very excited and thankful for the generosity of Amazon. Their financial donation to Conner Middle School will assist in providing more opportunities to all,” said Turner. “I am especially grateful for Amazon’s efforts in raising awareness and assisting young women in their learning of career opportunities in STEM area.”

Amazon Air female panel spoke about STEM careers.

“It’s so important to give students access to computer science and STEM education,” said Vice President of Amazon Global Air Sarah Rhoads. “We’re proud to partner with Boone County Schools, and we hope to provide young people in this community with the tools and connections they need to build, imagine, and innovate.”
The event concluded with the site’s first-ever panel of Amazon Air female leaders (Sarah Rhoads, VP of Global Air; Mara Palcisco, Director of Global Air Ops; Ali Faddis, Director of Global Air Safety and Aviation Operations; Tiffany Strayer, KCVG Site Lead for Reliability, Maintenance, and Engineering; and KCVG Assistant General Manager, Liz Hamedi). They talked about how they broke individual barriers in the aviation and logistics industry and prepared students with best practices for how to do the same. Donated items include robotic kits, STEM educational materials, Amazon tablets and more – increasing the program’s ability to help students learn and explore STEM.

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