GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Caledonia High School students toured the Amazon fulfillment center in southern Kent County Tuesday. The group of 12 girls are STEM-based students who were invited for the behind-the-scenes tour as part of Amazon’s Affinity program.

Senior Lydia Souwerby said the robots used to organize inventory reminded her of the Disney character Wall-E. She said she was amazed to see the choreographed-like work Amazon’s robots and workers display.

“I’m overwhelmed, kind of, because I thought Amazon was slightly smaller than this,” she said. “I didn’t realize actually how much packaging it was.”

Amazon opened its $150-million fulfillment center in Gaines Township in March 2020. However, this was the first public tour the center has offered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fulfillment center at 68th Street and Patterson Avenue is Amazon’s regional distribution center, where employees piece together, pack and ship orders to customers.

Jaclyn Court, Amazon’s community outreach coordinator for women in West Michigan, said they wanted to welcome students who are focused on STEM-based learning into their facility.

“Initially, it was to do with the robots that we have and the technology,” she said. “Though I would say that it has expanded because we have a lot of different positions here that are not just STEM-related.”

The company’s website echoed Court’s sentiments that diversity, specifically when it comes to the recruitment of women, matters.

Souwerby said she can see how her coding and robotic building classes apply to real-world jobs.