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Impact in the Uvalde Community


Uvalde, Texas – After learning about the challenges faced by several schools and robotics teams in Uvalde, FIRST® in Texas reached out to see where help was needed the most. Through strategic grant proposals and unwavering dedication, FIRST® in Texas volunteers and staff came together with Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (Uvalde CISD) to bring STEM to local schools and students, providing them with the necessary resources to participate in the FIRST® LEGO League (FLL) program.

Previously, the two Robb Elementary School FIRST® LEGO League teams faced a significant hurdle – a lack of essential equipment. With a shared vision of providing equal opportunities for all students, volunteers worked with FIRST® in Texas staff to prepare grant proposals, seeking funding to bridge this gap. Their efforts paid off when Synergistic STEM Outreach came forward as the generous sponsor, providing funds for class pack resources, Spike Prime robots, and challenge sets. The beneficiaries of this support were the FLL Discover teams at Dalton Elementary and the Uvalde Dual Language Academy (UDLA).

Thanks to the much-needed funds, FLL Explore teams were formed at Uvalde Elementary, Flores Elementary, Batesville School, and UDLA. These teams, equipped with the necessary resources, were able to unleash their creativity and dive into the world of robotics and innovation.

Highlighting the achievements of these young innovators, a district-wide STEM celebration was organized at Uvalde High School on the weekend of April 15th. Blair Dorris, along with Uvalde CISD Intervention and Enrichment support, played a pivotal role in making this event a resounding success. During the event, the FIRST® LEGO League teams showcased their impressive work from this year’s SuperPowered competition. This event was made possible by the generous donation of Chromebooks from the Cupidette Club, Inc. In addition, an FLL competition table was donated by San Antonio based FIRST® LEGO League Team 9627, the Moonwalkers.

To ensure the sustainability of this educational initiative, funding was secured from the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country through the Uvalde Forever Fund. These funds will be utilized to cover team registration fees, laptops, Spike Prime robots, and FLL competition tables at every school within the Uvalde CISD. This remarkable support will empower future generations of students, providing them with access to the transformative experience of participating in the FIRST® LEGO League program.

The resilience and dedication of the Uvalde community cannot be overstated. FIRST® in Texas Executive Director Jason Arms said, “We continue to stand united in our support of the Uvalde community, especially in the continued wake of their recent tragedies. We vow to uplift and empower their FIRST® robotics teams, recognizing their potential to transform communities across Texas and beyond.” The students involved in FIRST®  programs have not only developed technical skills but have also cultivated teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities that will serve them well throughout their lives.

As the Uvalde community continues to expand its robotics and STEM education initiatives, the remarkable impact of community-driven efforts will be felt for years to come. The support FIRST® in Texas works to provide would be fruitless without the selfless contributions of volunteers and the unwavering support of our volunteers and sponsors. The Texas community has laid the foundation for a brighter future, where educational opportunities are within reach for all students.