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MA STEM Week Demo and Grant Program 2021


NE FIRST and the WPI Robotics Resource Center want to see that all children have the opportunity to learn about and participate in robotics. The problem solving and team work associated with FIRST Robotics has inspired many students to pursue pathways to STEM.


Want to bring the excitement of STEM learning with FIRST robotics to your classroom/school? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a set of robots for your students and get the training & support for FREE?!

As part of STEM Week, NE FIRST and the WPI Robotics Resource Center are providing grants for educators to bring robotics into their classrooms, along with enriching, hands-on learning opportunities to students historically underserved in STEM.

This opportunity will use the FIRST LEGO League Explore and Challenge Program and the SPIKE Prime platform from LEGO.

To be eligible to apply, educators much be working in a grades 2-8 in Massachusetts in a school-wide Title 1 school. We ask that educators be willing to run the 12-session course with at least 3 unique groups of students (over 3 years or less) to apply. The grant and equipment will belong to the educator, so if the educator moves schools, they will take it with them and may continue the program at their new location to meet the terms of the grant.

To learn more about what the grant will include, please see the following links:

  • Explore Grant: Grades 2-4:

  • Challenge Grant: Grades 4-8:


  • Grant applications are open from Oct 12th at noon through November 5th at 8PM ET.

  • We will notify grant recipients no later than December 1st.

  • There will be up to three Explore Grants and three Challenge Grants available in each of the 9 STEM Network regions. No less than one of each grant type will be awarded in each region if there is an eligible applicant.

  • Grade 4 teachers should review the two grants and decide which is more appropriate for the skill and maturity of the students in their school/classroom and apply accordingly.

  • In addition to any school/classroom expo you may run, NE FIRST and WPI may invite your school to participate in a celebrate event for grant recipients at the end of the school-year. Participation is not required as part of the grant.

  • Each grant includes one seat of professional development for the teacher. The training is 14 hours long and will be offered as either two 7-hour days or 7 two-hour sessions. You will be given the option to select a preference as part of the application.

  • Grant will include all necessary equipment and training except the school must have access to bluetooth-capable tablets or computers to run software.


FIRST Robotics teams will be out in force in their communities throughout MA STEM Week (Oct 18-22, 2021). We are inviting all NE FIRST Teams in Massachusetts to step out into their neighboring communities show what fun robotics can be and how easy it is to get involved. The teams will bring their robots, demonstrate them for the audience, and they might even let you come up and drive or operate the robots!

All these FIRST robots are built by middle and high school students throughout Massachusetts. Their passion and excitement for technology will be obvious with their creations and they want you to see that you have a place in robotics too. Whether it’s designing a mechanism, coding a sensor, strategizing a game plan, or thinking a community outreach, robotics is a place for everyone.

Our teams will be making appearances at school, libraries, YMCAs and even just the local park (schedule of times and locations will be posted as we get closer to STEM Week). We will also offer virtual demos for those that might not be able to make it out. If you want to schedule a team to come to your school or your community, email and we will do everything we can to make it happen!

If you are an FRC or FTC team willing to demonstrate your robot during STEM Week, please also reach out to!

Want to see a little what it’s like to be at a FIRST event? Check this out:


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