This June, the REC Foundation worked with the Student Association for STEM Advocacy to help students use their voices to promote access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs for all students. Fourteen high schools and organizations joined training sessions and met with local, state, and national legislators.
Participating schools and organizations include Harvey School, Chaminade College Preparatory, Michigan Community Team, Lovejoy High School, Otay Ranch High School, Brownell Talbot School, Neuqua Valley High School, Indian Hill High School, Greenfield-Central High School, White Knoll High School, Oxford High School, Centennial High School, Grandbury High School, and Eastwood High School.
Once teams completed the training process, meetings were scheduled with 58 officials who learned about the impact that our programs have had on them and how improving access to STEM can make a difference to even more students.
Students who took part in the program learned that they can use their voices to ensure that everyone has the resources needed for positive STEM learning experiences. They worked together and shared resources while developing their presentations to the legislators, learning essential skills that will benefit them in their future careers.
In this inaugural year, the REC Foundation provided a grant to each school/organization to cover the fee for the training. All of the meetings were held virtually. In the future, we are hopeful that some teams will be able to gather in person as conditions permit. If your school or organization is interested in learning more, please visit the SASA site. Teachers who want to participate next June can send an email to Nancy_McIntyre@roboticseducation.org to receive information regarding the training grant and expectations for meeting with legislators. For teams who enjoy and are able to travel to Washington DC, this opportunity can provide students with first-hand experience in our governmental process.
Quotes from participants:
"It was a lot of fun. We’ve begun to arrange a visit by our congressman (Kevin McCarthy) to either our workspace or one of our competitions. He was quite enthusiastic about expanding title 4 section A so that more schools would have a chance to take advantage of robots or other stem extracurriculars. Thanks again for thinking of us and I hope we can keep participating in such areas!" - Colin
"Our team learned so much from this experience, and the chance to make a real-world change in our community that extends broader than just our team was inspiring and exciting for all of our members, even those that did not participate. We are so grateful that you extended this opportunity to us and allowed us to partake in this awesome program!" - Lori
About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation's mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable and sustainable robotics engineering programs.