Texas – FIRST® in Texas is proud to announce that it has received a $700,000 grant awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) as a part of their Texas Youth Robotics Initiative. This initiative “aims to expand statewide participation in robotics programs for high school students.” This money will help support the participation of more than 5,700 current and future students in a FIRST® program all across Texas.
FIRST® is more than a robotics competition. It is an opportunity for students to learn and grow mentally and emotionally through creative problem solving, conflict resolution, and early networking. Many FIRST® students find scholarships, internships, and jobs because of their experience on a robotics team and the connections they built while a part of the program.
FIRST® in Texas works constantly with partners around the state to increase access to FIRST® programs for underserved students, communities who may not have access to the STEM education available to students on other communities and has specific assistance available for those students with special needs. The events of the past year, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession, have put additional barriers in the way of success for many students. FIRST® in Texas is dedicated to removing as many of these barriers as possible.
More than 400 Texas FIRST® teams are eligible to receive assistance from this grant in the form of money and equipment. For a team to qualify to receive this important assistance, they must fill out a basic application to be considered for assistance. This funding specifically encourages students with special needs, students from underserved or underrepresented communities as a priority to receive the funding.
Funded teams can receive assistance with equipment and funding to cover the costs associated with participating in FIRST® programs such as FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition programs despite their specific location in Texas. Both programs allow students in high school to design, build and program a robot that can then be judged for specific awards and be included in a robotics competition at the local, state and national level.
“We are so grateful that the Texas Workforce Commission has identified FIRST® in Texas as a community partner in building a future workforce” said Jason Arms, Executive Director of FIRST® in Texas.
This is the fifth year that FIRST® in Texas has received this valuable funding from the Texas Workforce Commission and has allowed thousands of kids and hundreds of school districts that would not have been able to engage in a FIRST® program to do so.
“It is important for more leaders in government and industry to step up and support programs such as FIRST® around Texas and help us close the gap in building a strong and effective workforce for years to come”, Arms said.
We invite you to support the mission of FIRST® by volunteering at a local event, mentoring a team or getting involved financially. More information about FIRST® and to find an event in your area can be found on our website at http://firstintexas.org
Together, we are FIRST®