Amazon Puts Big Smiles on Children’s Faces During Tech Camp
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vinnie wore a big smile on his face while running circles around the conference room at the Sacramento Amazon Fulfillment Center on Wednesday. It wasn’t long ago that the blond-haired little boy was lying in a hospital bed being treated for cancer.
Employees at Sacramento’s Amazon Fulfillment Center cheered loudly, clapped enthusiastically and wore smiles on their faces all morning as they greeted Vinnie and four other Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento patients and their families for Camp Amazon.
Camp Amazon is put on in partnership with the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), giving pediatric oncology patients the opportunity to experience STEM and robotics up close and personal. The event is part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
There may be no better place to experience robotics than the fulfillment center, a warehouse filled with technology and robots that’s sole purpose is to deliver packages to online shoppers in a timely fashion.
Visitors were given a fascinating hands-on tour of the warehouse, learning the ins and outs of Amazon and how millions of items are shipped around the world so quickly. The children and their parents “oohed” and “aahed” watching robots move around the facility from one location to the next delivering items to an employee to be scanned and packaged.
Some children even got to help with the process – scanning and labeling bar codes onto boxes and printing out tape for the packages.
“We are so grateful to Amazon and ACCO for making this opportunity possible for the patients and their families,” said Jennifer Johnson, child life specialist, Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento. “This was a very fun day for everyone and Amazon is a great community partner.”
Amazon made a monetary donation as well as STEM supplies to Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento on behalf of the Camp Amazon event. Last year, Amazon’s fulfillment center in Tracy hosted two Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento pediatric oncology patients as part of the company’s 30 in 30 event, giving 30 children STEM experiences around the country.
After the facility tour, the children worked in teams to design and build a robot which they later drove through a course of cardboard boxes.
Managers at the fulfillment center were on hand to provide guidance during the build and were excited to work with the kids.
“We are so glad to have everyone here today to take part in Camp Amazon,” said Dani Tafoya, Amazon Community Relations Specialist. “Our employees really look forward to this day and working alongside the children to teach the importance of STEM.”