(Black PR Wire) SEATTLE — Amazon teams up with Pharrell Williams’ education equity nonprofit YELLOW, and the Georgia Institute of Technology today announced a new educational collaboration called “Your Voice is Power” to encourage middle and high school students to share their voice on equity while learning to code new music remixes. The “Your Voice is Power” collaboration includes five teaching modules with lesson plans that teach coding while kick-starting meaningful conversations among students and their teachers about the importance of racial justice. This collaboration concludes with a competition for students to share their own voices through remixing Pharrell’s new song “Entrepreneur” using computer code on Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, EarSketch. “Your Voice is Power” is the latest initiative between Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon Music, and Georgia Tech to expand computer science education to more students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech. “Your Voice Is Power” is hoping to attract upwards of 100,000 students as a way to add unique, meaningful, and entrepreneurial-minded content to their current virtual learning experiences.
The need for high quality computer science education is more important than ever, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that from 2014 to 2024, the market for computer science professionals will grow twice as fast as the rest of the labor market. BLS research also shows that in 2019, the median annual salary for computer science occupations was approximately $48,000 greater than the median wage for all occupations in the U.S. What’s more, while the number of Black students obtaining STEM degrees has increased over the last two decades, Black professionals remain underrepresented within American science and engineering enterprises. The National Science Board (NSB) estimates that the number of Black professionals in science and engineering must more than double to be representative of Black people in the U.S. population in 2030.
“This collaboration between YELLOW, Amazon, and Georgia Tech is a celebration of Black creators and change-makers,” said Pharrell. “YELLOW at its core believes that education is a pathway to success. Teaching kids future-ready skills like coding, especially those kids for whom opportunities like this have not been equally distributed, is how we prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
“YELLOW’s mission is to even the odds for kids through education. We’re teaching for the future,” said Mike McGalliard, CEO of YELLOW. “Georgia Tech’s EarSketch platform is a powerful tool for kids to explore the connection between coding and creativity. In working alongside Amazon to give kids access to platforms like this, we can help them bring their ideas to life.”
“Your Voice is Power” introduces students to real-world computer science-based careers held by people of color. Through this program, students will meet professionals who use music and computer science to fight for racial justice—people including Mike Larson, Pharrell’s audio engineer; Chalece DeLaCoudray, a music technologist and Georgia Tech alumna; and Joycelyn Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and Digital Media at Georgia Tech. “Your Voice is Power” will also encourage students to channel their learning into an original remix of Pharrell’s new song ‘Entrepreneur’ – a celebration of Black culture – using Python computer code. Specifically, they will use 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’re honored to join Amazon Future Engineer, and together build further awareness and enlist more artists to join this program that will break down barriers for students from underrepresented communities,” said Ryan Redington, VP of Music Industry at Amazon Music. “The more we support the next generation of artists and creators, the better the future of music will be. We are proud to work alongside Pharrell, a respected, visionary voice in promoting racial justice and helping students achieve long-term success.”
Courtesy of www.thebellereport.com