The New Hampshire Department of Education announced that 77 schools will receive a total of $713,601 to fund robotics programs for their students.
“This is such an incredible opportunity for so many schools throughout the state that are eager to establish robotics teams and participate in competitive events,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “Not only will this initiative motivate public and charter school students to potentially pursue careers in STEM, but it will also help build critical life and work-related skills – all while students are having fun and connecting with their teammates.”
The state said in a press release that grants are being awarded to expand existing robotics programs within schools and to create new programs for schools that have not yet launched robotics teams. Schools can use the funding to purchase robotics kits, parts and tools, as well as pay for registration fees, competition fees, transportation to events, team shirts, and stipends for coaches or advisors. Grants range from $2,000 to $14,850 per school, depending on their needs.
In addition to implementing robotics programs, some grants will be used to launch drone programs in select schools, including the Cooperative Middle School in the Exeter Region Cooperative School District.
“For the 2023-2024 year, (Cooperative Middle School) is growing the school’s robotics program by adding a CoDrones program for students who wish to participate in the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation’s Aerial Drone Competition,” states the school’s grant proposal. “The Aerial Drone Competition offers an exciting educational drone sporting event that focuses on hands-on, student-centered learning. Teams will learn about programing, drones, flight principles, documentation and communication skills while expanding their understanding and interest for Drone-related workforce and career opportunities.”
Additionally, the state explains that the Pittsburg School District, which currently does not have a robotics program, intends to introduce a comprehensive robotics experience that merges coding, technology, and creativity, according to its grant proposal.
“Through the CoderZ curriculum, students will engage in hands-on projects, fostering a deep understanding of robotics design, coding principles and problem-solving. This program will serve as a gateway for students to explore STEM subjects in a practical and engaging way,” states the application.
Overall grant funding will be used to support programs such as CoderZ, VEX Robotics, FIRST Robotics, and drone content.