Meadowcreek High School announced today it has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the national STEM advocacy nonprofit FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant will increase access to FIRST programs for underrepresented and underserved students, and help Meadowcreek High School Cluster Community develop new and innovative approaches to address equity, inclusion and diversity inequalities in STEM (science, technology, education, and math) fields.
The Meadowcreek High School Cluster Robotics & Computational Thinking Program is a cluster-wide Robotics Initiative to align robotics, mechatronics, and coding instruction within the Meadowcreek High School cluster through First LEGO League Robotic Competition Teams. The program will expand Meadowcreek High Schools Colts to Mustangs program where student interns specializing in robotics mentor elementary and middle school First LEGO League teams.
The Meadowcreek High School Cluster Robotics & Computational Thinking Program will start First LEGO League Jr teams to Ferguson, Graves, Lilburn, Meadowcreek, Nesbit, and Rockbridge elementary schools. This will be the first opportunity for kindergarten through third grade students to explore real-world scientific challenges, learn teamwork while working with motorized LEGO elements. These elementary schools in addition to Lilburn and Louise Radloff Middle Schools will receive the materials and instructional resources necessary to add additional First LEGO League teams for fourth through eighth grade students.
FIRST launched the STEM Equity Community Innovation Grants this year to ensure more students and communities are exposed to creative problem-solving and hands-on learning opportunities, regardless of economic or social backgrounds. Applications were evaluated based on alignment with FIRST in its goal of increasing diversity; demographics affected; community need; execution strength; track record of serving targeted students; and the value of proposed activities.
Grant Sponsors include Alcoa Foundation, Boeing, and Microsoft, among others, and Meadowcreek High School will receive resources and support from FIRST as it develops its programs.
The 2017 FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant application process will open in the fall of next year, and grants will be awarded to a mix of current and new recipients. More information will become available at www.firstinspires.org.