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Amazon Awards Thornton School $25,000 In Hopes Of Keeping Tech Jobs Filled

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) - New jobs in the tech industry are a driving force for the booming Front Range economy. Many companies worry about finding enough people with the right skills to fill all of those positions.

Now Amazon has taken a step to keep the pipeline filled, and it's aiming young.

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(credit: Brianna Broad)

Amazon called and offered students at the school a chance to see how the fulfillment center operates. They had no idea a special delivery was on its way.

"We were running out of money, and I have students asking, 'Can I borrow a computer,'" said Deb Harding who runs the Family Maker Space at STEM Launch. "So, this allows us to have families come in and build and have the materials, and now we can go a step farther and let them take it home."

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(credit: Brianna Broad)

Harding teaches middle school students computer science. She's planning to use the money to buy computers, Raspberry Pi devices and accessories.

"This is a passion of mine to let everyone have access. These kids have brilliant ideas," said Harding.

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(credit: Brianna Broad)

Amazon didn't announce the donation or allow press into the event. They invited the students and parents to see how the new fulfillment center operates.

"It just looked really amazing because there was all these machines, and we learned almost everything about them," said 6th grader Alondra Quinones.

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(credit: Brianna Broad)

Her sisters were allowed to enter a code that summoned an Amazon robot.

"It had a giant package on it for STEM Launch and they picked it off and unwrapped it and it was a check for $25,000," said seventh grader Christian Figueroa. "It was really cool because we got to see how everything worked."

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(credit: Brianna Broad)

Harding says the school frequently applies for grants to keep the Family Maker Space running, but competition and money are tight.

"My first goal is to get kids who do not have any computer at home, one of these," said Harding.

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