The Edmond Sun

November 9, 2012

State announces Botball grant opportunities


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The Oklahoma State Department of Education and the University of Oklahoma, in partnership with Botball, announced recently that it will provide grants of up to $2,200 per school to facilitate recent start-up and existing middle and high school Botball teams.

The Botball Educational Robotics Program gives students skills, experience and opportunities to succeed as they work in teams to design, build and program a pair of autonomous robots for regional and international competitions.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer schools grants for their Botball programs,” said State Superintendent Janet Barresi. “This program reinforces many different aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, which will be so necessary for our future graduates as they seek jobs in an ever-increasing technical work world.”

All Oklahoma public schools, including public charter schools, are eligible to apply for the grants, which may be used to create or maintain Botball Educational Robotics Programs. The University of Oklahoma has also given $10,000 to Botball, with $5,000 of it being used to fund these grants; the remaining $5,000 will support the Botball Global Conference in the summer.

The number of grants awarded will depend upon the number and type of applications received. Applicants are eligible to apply for grants in the following amounts:

• Rookie teams (first-year), up to $2,200;

• New Teams (second- through fifth-year), up to $1,500; and

• Veteran Teams (six-plus years), up to $1,000.

Successful applications will address:   

• A diverse socio-economic school environment that represents the percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch and includes race and gender as defining points.

• Increased student engagement in STEM education through Botball Robotics and the Global Conference on Educational Robotics

• Commitment to the development of student teams, recruitment of volunteer mentors, designing and building of remote-controlled robots.

• Participation in the Oklahoma Botball Regional Competitions. Information on competitions and registration can be found in the resources section of this application.

Interested applicants should fill out a grant application and return it to the Oklahoma State Department of Education no later than 5 p.m. Dec. 7. All applications must be submitted electronically via this website: http://kipr.org/ok-botball-grant-application.

For questions regarding the grants, contact: Jeff Downs, executive director of STEM, 521-2107, Jeff.Downs@sde.ok.gov; or Tiffany.Neill@sde.ok.gov. Also, visit the Botball page on the OSDE website.

For more information or assistance regarding the Botball program, contact: Steve Goodgame, executive director KISS Institute, 579-4609, sgoodgame@kipr.org; or Marci Corey, program manager, 579-4609, mcorey@kipr.org; or visit the Botball registration website, the Botball website; the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics website; or the Global Conference on Educational Robotics website.