FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) today announced 12 grants to address inequities in access to science and technology. The grants will support communities with underserved and underrepresented students and help them develop new, innovative approaches to tackle the education gap.
FIRST launched its STEM Equity Community Innovation Grants program in 2016 to provide diverse and disadvantaged students and communities with hands-on learning opportunities and outlets for creative problem-solving. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000, with an average of $35,000, and evaluation criteria include community need, demographics, increases in diversity, execution strength, a track record of reaching targeted students and the value of the activities proposed. To date, FIRST has awarded nearly $1.2 million to more than 38 communities across the United States and Canada.
“Access to STEM education, mentorship, and learning resources has powerful implications for a student’s future, but too many young people lack these valuable tools,” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST. “With these resources, we hope more educators and community leaders are able to galvanize students of all backgrounds to aspire for more and reach their full potentials.”
FIRST Equity, Diversity and Inclusion sponsors include Apple, Arconic Foundation, Qualcomm Incorporated, Bosch, Caterpillar, Cisco, Cognizant, The Dow Chemical Company, Fidelity Charitable, GM, GitHub, John Deere, Verizon, and individual donors, among others. Grantees will receive resources and support from FIRST as they develop their programs.
The 2018 FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant award winner from Harlem is:
East Harlem Tutorial Program (East Harlem, New York): A coalition between the East Harlem Tutorial Program and the East Harlem Scholar Academies will create three FIRST LEGO League teams of 30 students to help develop essential skills such as mechanical and electrical engineering, pneumatics systems and Java programming.
Father Maloney’s Boys and Girls Haven, Inc., https://ehtp.org/
The 2019 FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant application process will open in the fall of this year, and grants will be awarded to a mix of current and new recipients. More information will become available at www.firstinspires.org.
See other winning schools go to www.firstinspires.org
Photo credit: Kids from FIRST in Detroit. Via BusinessWire