KC STEM Alliance Awards $63 Thousand to Support and Increase Student Participation in FIRST® Robotics Programs

KC STEM Alliance Awards $63 Thousand to Support and Increase Student Participation in FIRST® Robotics Programs

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – KC STEM Alliance announced 2014-2015 program grants totaling $63,750.00 to 23 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams in the 5 county Kansas City region. (Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas; and Clay, Jackson, and Platte in Missouri.)

Recipients include public, charter or private schools and non-profit community organizations that serve low-income students and/or traditionally underserved communities. For the purpose of this grant, low-income schools are defined as schools serving a population of at least 40% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. Underserved populations are defined as females, minorities and students with disabilities. Limited funding was also made available for rookie (first year) teams.

Awards for this initiative originated from the generosity of multiple funders to KC STEM Alliance, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Cerner, DST Systems, Garmin, Google Fiber, Honeywell and US Engineering. A grants committee made up of representatives from these funding partners, along with KC FIRST and KC STEM Alliance staff members, determined awards based on eligibility guidelines. Maximum grants awarded were up to $4,000 for FRC teams and up to $1,500 for FTC teams.

“The funding priority in this grant cycle was supporting robotics programs in underserved communities and sustaining recent start-up teams,” said Laura Loyacono, Executive Director of KC STEM Alliance. “Successful applications addressed a diverse socio-economic school environment and a commitment to the development of student teams and the recruitment of volunteer mentors.”

School Team Grant Recipients: Bishop Ward High School, Center Middle School, Center High School, DeLaSalle Education Center, Excelsior Springs High School, F.L. Schlagle High School, Grandview High School, J.C. Harmon High School, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, Northeast High School, North Kansas City High School, Oak Park High School, Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Raytown and Raytown South High Schools (combined team), Ruskin High School, Shawnee Mission North High School, Shawnee Mission South High School, Shawnee Mission West High School and Winnetonka High School.

Homeschool Team Grant Recipients: Astromechs Robotics, Metro Homeschool Robotics and Up Next Leadership Academy.