Hello all! I am dropping some information about Team 2996’s legislative advocacy initiative, ‘Colorado Cents for STEM.’ While this project is a Colorado focused and based project, we are more than willing to share all of our resources, research, and ideas with teams from other states if they are interested in starting their own advocacy project (or just want to see what we’re working on)
If you have any questions, comments, or want to reach out, feel free to comment here, email us at [email protected], or join the ‘Cents for STEM’ Discord Server where we conduct our meetings weekly every Friday from 7-9PM (at the latest.)
Colorado Cents for STEM is an initiative launched by FRC Team 2996, Cougars Gone Wired, in April of 2023 with the stated goal of supporting STEM programs throughout the State of Colorado. After research and discussions with other teams, we developed the ‘Colorado Cents for STEM Initiative’, a program that advocates for state-level grant funding of STEM programs.
In the state of Colorado, STEM extracurricular programs—with a focus on new teams, and teams struggling financially—should be eligible for State Department of Education grants that can pay registration fees, purchase equipment and materials, and even provide stipends for coaches and mentors. A grant program would reduce the financial burden on first-year and struggling teams and increase the accessibility to STEM programs in our state.
Grant funding could be used for:
- Competition entrance fees and travel costs
- Purchasing tools, equipment, and parts
- Student costs such as team meals and team t-shirts
- Stipends for coaches and mentors
As we move forward, we are reaching out to FIRST teams because we believe that by presenting a united front, our combined voices will have more power than any singular team. In the coming weeks, we will begin to reach out to our representatives, with the goal of gaining their support and assistance with our initiative.
In order to make this idea a reality, we need to get support from our state representatives and reach out to them and explain to them how state DOE grants would assist in supporting existing STEM programs, and help to spur the growth of new ones. It is also important to explain the amazing impact programs like FIRST have on the next generation and how they encourage young people to pursue a STEM career.
Thank you so much for reading, once again, feel free to reach out if you have any questions. This is a project for Colorado teams, but as I said, we are more then willing to share our research & ideas with all others!
~ Riley B. - VP of Community Outreach - FRC 2996, Cougars Gone Wired