Renewed educational space will feature advanced manufacturing technology, greatly expanding Umatilla High School’s Robotics science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) Program offerings

June 29, 2022– Umatilla, OR – Umatilla School District in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), today announce a new educational lab will be built at Umatilla High School in Umatilla, OR. The new AWS Think Big Space is a unique collaboration between AWS and Umatilla Robotics, a Umatilla High School program that aims to spark student interest in STEAM, to revamp the site currently used by the program. The new space aims to support Umatilla High School’s strong STEAM programming by providing a stimulating learning environment to students and helping expand the school’s interactive hands-on technical education, cloud computing training, and advanced manufacturing technology offerings. This is the third AWS Think Big space in Eastern Oregon, but the first in Umatilla County.

School Board Chair, Jon Lorence, stated “It’s wonderful to see this investment from AWS in our school and community. We’re excited to get started on the design and construction work, which we expect to begin this summer so we can open in January 2023, just in time for the Umatilla Robotics season kick-off and game challenge reveal.”

Umatilla School District superintendent, Heidi Sipe adds, “This Think Big Space is particularly unique because Umatilla Robotics students took the lead in creating the initial concept, project design, and every step of the grant application process for the space. They ensured AWS understood the full spectrum of our current K-12 robotics and STEAM offerings and articulated their vision for a revamped space, which is to have a strong focus on advanced manufacturing technologies. With industry quality CNC equipment, improved CAD software and hardware support, and continued 3D printing labs, the new training lab will provide industry grade opportunities for Umatilla students so they can take their robotics work to a new level.”

One of the students that assisted with the grant application process, Umatilla High School sophomore, and Junior Project Manager for Umatilla Robotics team Confidential, Avery Gutierrez said about the process, “it was exciting to get to help with this grant and it’s an honor to be selected. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team in this space and what opportunities we can hopefully offer to the community as we learn to use our equipment and teach others.”

The AWS Think Big Space, an AWS InCommunities program, supports Umatilla High Schools’ efforts to encourage a spirit of innovation among children and young adults, and cultivate their interest in careers within science, technology, engineering, math, electronics, robotics, computer science and more. The AWS Think Big Space was named after one of Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles which states, “Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.”

 “At Amazon, we are committed to making a positive impact in the communities where our employees live and work,” said Cornelia Robinson, global lead of inclusion and outreach for AWS InCommunities. “We are proud of our presence in Eastern Oregon and to have the opportunity to support our neighbors who share our passion for STEM education. I hope this AWS Think Big Space at Umatilla High School allows its students to not only ‘think big’ but to also dream big. I can’t wait to see what they will create.”

AWS Think Big Spaces are part the AWS InCommunities commitment of making a positive impact in the communities where we it builds and operates its global infrastructure.