3 years, 5 months ago Veronica GonzalesKeymaster
Notification of Intent DUE November 22, 2017
Grants will range from $5,000 to $50,000 with an anticipated average award of $25,000. Grants may cover costs of meeting the needs of students participating in the proposed activities, including tools, materials and robot kits, registration fees, coach/mentor stipends, travel, food, and other expenses essential to removing barriers for underrepresented and underserved populations.
Select communities will be invited to submit full proposals from December 18, 2017, through January 20, 2018. Funded communities will be notified by March 30, 2018, of FIRST intent to make a grant award.
The demand for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals is growing rapidly while at the same time inequities and gaps in education and afterschool programming are preventing certain youth from having access to engaging STEM opportunities. Ensuring that underrepresented and underserved students are exposed to hands-on STEM learning experiences and educated about future career opportunities that are available to them in these fields is vital.
Building STEM literacy and confidence is required to be successful in nearly every endeavor in today’s technology-rich society. STEM competence and confidence creates pathways to well-paying jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the fastest-growing fields, creating the potential for young people to achieve purposeful and prosperous lives. Nearly every country and every organization need creative problem-solvers to tackle their biggest challenges. In the U.S., for example, the demand for STEM professionals will grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018 —which is more than the projected growth for administrative work, sales and transportation combined. Collectively, we must enable our young people to grow up to solve the world’s most pressing problems, be strong citizens, and build a brighter future.
FIRST® is committed to bringing its programs to students who would benefit most, and is providing funds to communities to address inequities in STEM. The mission of FIRST is to inspire students to become science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting, mentor-guided, project-based programs that teach STEM skills, inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities. FIRST provides opportunities to develop STEM literacy through a robotics platform and a progression of programs – FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. which serves K-4, FIRST® LEGO® League which serves grades 4-8, FIRST® Tech Challenge, serving grades 7-12, and FIRST® Robotics Competition which serves grades 9-12.
To ensure greater access and reduce inequalities, FIRST is providing funds to communities through the third round of FIRST® STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant. This grant is designed to support communities in providing greater access to quality STEM experiences for targeted students. The collaboration, training and technical assistance provided will enable community leaders in up to 15 communities in the United States and Canada the ability to:
• Map existing community resources and identify service gaps or other unmet needs,
• Provide the supports and resources necessary in underserved communities to increase access to FIRST programs and/or develop models for inclusive practices, and
• Create the metrics to drive continuous improvement.
This grant is made possible as part of the FIRST Diversity & Inclusion strategy with generous support from our Sponsors: Arconic, Boeing, Caterpillar, GitHub, GM, John Deere, one anonymous and many individual supporters. The grant competition will open on October 10, 2017. Interested community coalitions must submit a notification of their intent to apply by November 22, 2017. Select communities will be invited to submit full proposals from December 18, 2017 through January 30, 2018. Funded communities will be notified by March 30, 2018 of our intent to make a grant award. Funded communities will implement proposed activities from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
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