While browsing the new FIRST website, I came across an article link regarding how the State of Rhode Island is funding FIRST Vex teams for every high school. It appears to be part of their regular academic program. Making it mandatory to have a robotics team at each school just as society requires a sports team at every school.
I have sent the following email to my two US Senators for Texas, my US representative, and a State Senator. Please consider doing the same, especially if you are from TEXAS!
email copy below:)
I encourage you to read the following article on how Rhode Island is putting in place a systemic process whereby every high school has a robotics team. If we want to continue to be leaders in technology, shouldn’t our school system recognize and celebrate students competing on technology teams! Robotics is a strong draw for student interest and team sports is how we celebrate atheletic ability so a robotics team needs to be part of every school in TEXAS!
Rhode Island will be the first state in the nation to offer a FIRST program, specifically the FIRST Vex Challenge, in all of Rhode Island’s 67 public high schools, charter schools, and career and technical centers. Central to the project objectives are plans to integrate the Vex Challenge into the state’s new standards for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) education.
Thank you for your time as you consider the possibilities for Texas.
<Edit> Here is a link to the original press release with more of the details.
The program, launched by the Business Innovation Factory, is supported by Governor Donald L. Carcieri and a coalition of education and science and technology advocates, including the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Governor’s PK-16 Council, the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
Total costs for the program are estimated at $140,000, which includes funding for a statewide competition beginning in 2007. The coalition will seek support from business and community sponsors and mentorship from the local colleges and universities.
“We cannot afford to fail in preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow—jobs that will require skills in math, science, and engineering,” says Governor Donald L. Carcieri, whose administration fully supports the program. “This program will provide Rhode Island’s young people with an extraordinary opportunity to get hands-on, real-world science and engineering experience in a way that brings true excitement to learning. I am pleased to make this program an important part of our plan for educating Rhode Island’s next generation of science, technology, and engineering leaders.”