UBTECH Education Launches Early Innovator Grant to Expand High-Quality Robotics and Coding Opportunities to K–12 Students Nationwide
As part of UBTECH Education’s commitment to equity in robotics and engineering instruction, the organization today launched a competitive grant to provide two years of free robotics kits, curriculum, and professional development to K–12 schools systems interested in integrating robotics instruction into STEM programs.
The Early Innovator grant program will award a cohort of geographically and demographically diverse school systems that can make a two-year commitment to implementing the company’s award-winning UKIT solution in their classrooms. Founded on UBTECH’s industry-leading robotics experience and research base, the UKIT was developed by experts who helped write the NGSS. It immerses students in hands-on learning by merging modular robotics construction with engineering, math, and language arts, as well as physical and life sciences. Information on Early Innovator grants, as well as a link to apply for the program, can be found here.
A Call for Equity in STEM Education
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, college-educated STEM job-holders earn up to 39% more than non-STEM employees. In addition, between 2016 and 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in STEM fields will grow by 10.8%.
Through the grant program, UBTECH Education aims to help level the playing field by exposing more students to robotics and engineering—not just those students who can participate in out-of-school camps, clubs, and classes.
“These findings and forecasts are part of what drives us to help educate a generation of kids who—regardless of their race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic background—need to be knowledgeable about robots, comfortable interacting with automated machines, and prepared to build careers as STEM workers,” says John Rhee, UBTECH’s general manager for North America. “Robotics can no longer be a perk for students who can attend specialized programs. With the right tools and training, it can and should be a fundamental part of K–12 education.”
The E in STEM is Silent
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has declared that computer science should be incorporated into all subjects in order to properly prepare students for college and careers. But efforts to implement these new best practices in STEM classrooms are often hampered by a lack of time and curricular materials that are not aligned to the latest standards.
Based on a solid foundation of standards and coherence, UBTECH Education’s NGSS-aligned curriculum builds student and teacher confidence, inspires curiosity, and flexes to engage all learners. Students leverage advanced science and mathematics concepts to solve real-world problems, learning how technology can enhance the critical and computational thinking process.
“Over the next generation, robots and automated machinery will become increasingly integrated into our daily lives,” says Jamie Sachs, senior director of education at UBTECH. “Students shouldn’t just know how to use the tools of the future—they should be building the tools of the future.”
Grant applications will be accepted through July 31, and UBTECH Education plans to announce the cohort of awardees in mid-August. Learn more here.