Expanding access to robotics training is the ultimate goal of the Philadelphia Robotics Coalition, a nonprofit focused on connecting local schools with both the training and sources of funding to sustain FIRST robotics teams.
Already reaching 22 schools, the coalition is on a fundraising push to raise $75,000 in additional cash to reach its goal of serving 30 schools by 2020.
“High-quality STEM education and robotics programs are extremely important because they help our students learn how to think critically, problem-solve, and ask questions about their surroundings,” said School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite, who joined a launch event on Saturday. “They also help students prepare for meaningful college and career experiences, whether or not they pursue a STEM-related field.”
Last year, with backing from the Neubauer Family Foundation, the coalition was able to serve students in 22 schools, offering workshops and grants and mentors to expand engineering and science training.
FIRST Robotics competitions are six-week projects where teams of high-school students build and program industrial-size robots.
Here’s a quick look at a 2016 competition where robots built by high schoolers tossed the football around with a couple of Eagles players.-30-