FIRST Indiana Robotics announce start up robotics grants

INDIANA – FIRST Indiana Robotics is proud to announce that, through a generous financial commitment, start-up grants will be awarded to schools and other community organizations in Southeast Indiana for K-12 STEM mentoring programs.

Grant opportunities are available in four of our FIRST Robotics programs, and the majority of start-up costs are covered for grant recipients. Elementary and middle schools may apply for our FIRST LEGO League Explore or FIRST LEGO League Challenge grants. In Explore, teams of students ages 6-10 focus on the fundamentals of engineering as they explore real-world problems, learn to design and code, and create unique solutions made with LEGO bricks and powered by LEGO Education WeDo 2.0.

Friendly competition is at the heart of FIRST LEGO League Challenge, as teams of students ages 9-14 engage in research, problem-solving, coding and engineering – building and programming a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game. As part of FIRST LEGO League Challenge, teams also participate in a research project to identify and solve a relevant real-world problem.

Middle schools and high schools can apply for either our FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition program.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams, each with up to 15 team members, grades 7-12, are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.

We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”

Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-sized robots to play a challenging field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

A FIRST Robotics Competition student recently told us, “Without the robotics team, I wouldn’t be going to college for the major I’m going for right now. I didn’t know programming and my high school doesn’t have a programming class, so this club gave me not only the opportunity to learn coding but also to be self-motivated when it comes to the things I enjoy. This organization has been a huge part in making me who I am today. Thank you.”

All FIRST programs offer so much more than robotics. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students not only develop STEM skills and interests and practice engineering principles, but realize the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. With an emphasis on problem-solving, FIRST programs are designed to build self-confidence, leadership, and life skills among K-12 students.

In order to take advantage of these grants, schools and community groups can visit the FIRST Indiana Robotics website:

These grants are open to any organization with a 501(c)(3). If teachers, parents, or community members are interested in learning more they can contact FIRST Indiana Robotics

There are seven universities in the state of Indiana that offer scholarships for FIRST students. University of Evansville, Indiana University, IUPUI, Hanover College, Valparaiso University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Trine University. Nationwide there are over 200 providers with over $80 Million in scholarships available.