I’m a mentor for Team 3650. My career involves engineering for the Navy, and we’re trying to put together a case for having our facility sponsor the local team. One of the questions being asked is if there are other examples of DoD facilities (particulalry Navy) directly funding FIRST teams. Is anyone aware of teams that have DoD sponsors? What kind of support is offered?
If anyone could get in contact with me with examples I would sincerely appreciate it. Thanks!
Quite a few teams (including my own) get funding from the National Defense Education Program. There’s a requirement (as far as I know) to have at least one mentor on the team work on a military base. I’m not sure if there are other requirements other than that.
It looks like there’s at least one team getting funding from the National Security Agency (Team 2537), which is an entity of the DoD as well.
There also appear to be a number of teams sponsored by Tinker AFB
Good luck getting funding! I’d be interested if you can get it.
Along these same lines, What about other Government Agencies.
I know with current budget constraints getting money out of the would be difficult. But are there any teams getting “in-kind” donations, utilization of space, etc?
We are a NAVAIR sponsored team, and have been fortunate enough to get money from NAVAIR and the Educational Outreach Office from our local naval base. This was a partnership that took time to grow and become what it is today; it definitely didn’t happen overnight [insert government joke].
That being said, you have to start somewhere. The first step is to identify and contact the proper person or office. This may be harder than it sounds; for us it is the Educational Outreach Office. You may want to look around for other STEM events that are being put on by the facility (e.g. STEM nights, Field Trips for schools) and chase back the contacts that way.
We started off with a small amount of money, and then we were able to grow the partnership. We helped them and in turn they contributed more. We had to submit for grants to get money; they can’t just write a check for $X,XXX.
The trick to the grants are knowing when they put out the appropriate RFP and getting everything submitted in time. We were told that the grant we just received would be the last grant we would be able to get because of how the government is going to restructure its STEM education/outreach initiative. We were also told the same information after receiving a grant for the 2013 season.
There is also the NDEP grant, but the submission deadline has already passed (typically in early September IIRC), that really only requires having a navy/government employee serving as a mentor on the team. In our case, majority of our mentors are government employees; this also helps our case when seeking funding.
I am interested the stories of other teams that fall in this category. Feel free to ask questions or shoot me a PM.