Attention Michigan Teams: $6,000 ROOKIE TEAM GRANTS NOW AVAILABLE

I just got an e-mail from Gail, asking to post this:

We have some very exciting news. Thanks in part to so many of you who wrote letters to your legislators, the State of Michigan has just finalized a $150,000 grant to help start 25 new teams in Michigan.

I need your help to ensure we find enough new teams this year to use all the money set aside so the State will agree to set aside this much and more in the years to come.

So please, put on your thinking caps and let me know right away of any schools that might want to start a new team this year with the State providing the registration fee. Better yet, get the word out to your team members, their family and friends, and especially to your sponsors, school principals, teachers and administrators to see if they can help get new high schools interested in participating.

To read more about what’s being offered or to download the application go to:,1607,7-140-5236—,00.htm

The application is similar to the one used by NASA. In fact, rookie teams should be able to use many of the same essays to apply for both grants. While there is a requirement for matching funds, we’ve set it up so teams can use the fair market value of engineering time and donations of materials/facilities to meet this requirement.

Again I thank you for making this grant possible. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me day or night either here or on my cell.

Best Regards,
Gail Alpert
cell: 248-425-4148
gail.alpert AT gmail DOT com

This is great news for new MI teams.

A couple of points grabbed my attention as I read the quote:

  1. $150,000 divided into $6000 registration fee grants would start 25 new teams. Thats a whole state’s worth, on average.

  2. Matching funds are required but teams can count fair market value of engineering time and donated materials as matching ‘funds’. This should be a relatively easy burden; many companies routinely bill out engineering time at $100 per hour, so two engineering mentors donating 30 hours each might satisfy the matching funds requirement. This is much less time than many FIRST mentors contribute to their teams.

I’ll create a document with the schools in MI, and all of the robotics teams, so that people know what schools don’t have a team, and what teams are close to them. If anyone wants it, let me know.


Easier said than done. There are many teams that include students from more than one school, which may or may not be listed as a team sponsor.

Btw, due date for applications is 9/29/06.

I believe I read somewhere on that site that there are three due dates … not sure how that’s working, though.

Brandon is correct. We’ve set up a first come first serve rolling system. If you apply by the end of September, you hear by early October. If there is money left, you can apply by the end of October and hear by early November. This will go on in a like manner, with the final round of awards being given in early December.

For the first round, only new teams can apply, but in subsequent rounds, anyone can apply for the grant money. HOWEVER, when they received my school’s application, we were sent an email that said that the grant money was for public schools only. We worked for about three days on that application, and nowhere did it say that it was for public schools only. We’re going to try and fight this, because at this point we don’t have even the entrance fee in confirmed funding yet.

Because the funding is through the Department of Education and the grant is for School Districts, we strongly urge you to find a school district near you to partner with. Feel free to call me to discuss. 248 425-4148.

I can help you in other ways as well. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

248 425-4148.

I have a question. If a team has already been registered once before, but their team was disbanded. Could they still recieve the grant money if they want to start up again. Our team wants to help this team but the getting to money to would be tough. This money would help.

when our school had a team about ten years ago, U of D and Mercy had a joint team, but there were problems that arose at the nationals, in florida at that time, and since we have started up again, our school administration doesn’t want us to partner up with any school. All I know about the problem was that it was enough to end the team back then, and they were unsure as to whether or not they would let us start the team again. As for funding, we are all going to sit down tommorrow and finish letters to send to various companies.

It is possible that a team that has disbanded and started anew could qualify as a new team for grant purposes depending on the circumstances. Can you give me a bit more detail?

Are you asking me for details? If so, could you be more specific about what you want to be specified?