For many of us, buying a good deal of our consumer needs on Amazon has become a fully-ingrained habit. They are a company and a brand that has truly revolutionized consumer behavior and have been forced (thanks to their success) to become one of the most sophisticated users of robotics in their distribution process.
So, imagine the amazement on the face of a young person from one of Baltimore’s most challenging neighborhoods and schools as she gets the once in a lifetime opportunity to step onto the floor
of Amazon’s amazing fulfillment center on Broening Highway in Baltimore. In celebration of National Robotics Week, Amazon employees opened their doors and their hearts over a week ago to about 100 STEM-focused students from Y Community Schools. Amazon provided the students with a firsthand view of robotics in action followed by super fun, engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. They presented surprise donations of $5,000 in STEM educational items (such as Kinex, Codemasters, Sphero robots, 3D printers and other equipment) for the student groups to take back to their schools! Amazon was also kind enough to donate $1,000 to the Y in support of our charitable mission.
The tours (eye-popping for the sheer magnitude and efficiency of the operation) showcased how robots fill orders and move products around the massive, bright, clean center, which is an astounding one million square feet (28 football fields!). More than that, they also showcased a company with a genuine “esprit de corps” and generous spirit, demonstrated by the many high fives, smiles and waves the students received from Amazon employees, starting with the guard at the door and continuing throughout the entire tour!
We can’t thank our new friends at Amazon enough for making this opportunity available to our Y kids. What a strong display of community building and partnership. I can imagine that these kids will long remember both the warm welcome they got as well as the first-hand glimpse of their STEM learning put to work in the real world. Many thanks to Amazon and to the Y associates who helped make this happen, with special appreciation to Debra Einstein for making the connection with Amazon and Charmayne Turner for quickly seizing the opportunity for the kids.
All the best,
P.S. I thought you’d enjoy this article on the kids’ visit:
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland