The power of collaboration! When FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced their Diversity and Inclusion grants in 2016, Power to Choose (PTC) reached out to GAIA and First Light Initiative (FLI) to join to make the project stronger through being able to bring indigenous scientists and engineers into the classroom where robotics is taught or location where the robotics teams were meeting among Treaty 7 schools. Power to Choose is the only Canadian group and only group among all the 2017/2018 winners who are specifically targeting indigenous youth. FIRST Robotics Society (FRS, Western Canada) received the same award 2016/2017 to reach to reserve schools in northern Alberta. The collaboration of PTC, GAIA and FLI on the robotics project was the impetus to merge into indigeSTEAM. In partnership with FRS, we are looking to host our first invitational robotics tournament for indigenous youth in Alberta (and beyond!)
FIRST® Announces 2017 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant Winners. Underserved and underrepresented students from 17 communities to receive grants facilitating hands-on learning and problem-solving opportunities.
AUG 3, 2017: FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) today announced 17 grants to support the development of new, innovative approaches to address equity, inclusion and diversity inequalities in STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) education, focusing on communities with underserved and underrepresented students.
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, track record of reaching targeted students and the value of the activities proposed.
“Hands-on STEM experiences open doors for kids no matter which careers they choose, but students don’t always get access to this type of learning in their classrooms,” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST. “These grants empower educators and community leaders to offer access to quality, impactful STEM education experiences to all kids, regardless of their location, gender, race or any other demographic indicator so that they can reach their full potential.”
Power to Choose provides First Nationals youth in Southern Alberta, Canada, with career power of choice through STEM. The grant will start new FIRST teams and support existing ones in three nations through collaboration with community, educators, industry and indigenous mentorship. Partners on this project include FIRST Robotics Society (Western Canada), STEM Learning Labs, Schulich School of Engineering and Faculty of Science, University of Calgary, GAIA, and First Light Initiative.