Targeted Grant Making

Grant Opportunities

KC STEM Alliance engages in targeted grant making to support STEM education in the Kansas City region on a limited basis, as funds allow.

Grant support for FIRST Robotics teams

With support from its generous funders, KC STEM Alliance awards cash grants to sustain robotics programs in underserved communities and to facilitate recent start-up teams. Applications for the 2016-17 school year closed in October.

Applications were considered from FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams in the following counties: Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte in Missouri. Grants limits were set at $2,500 for FRC teams and $1,500 for FTC teams.


Eligible recipients included K-12 public or private schools and non-profit community organizations that serve low-income students and/or traditionally underserved communities. In addition, limited funding is available for newer (<7 years) teams. For the purpose of this grant, low-income schools are defined as schools serving a population with at least 21 percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunch, with awards based on a sliding scale. Underserved populations include females.  Funds for this initiative originate from the generosity of multiple local donors and funders to the KC STEM Alliance.

Awards were determined by committee, with scoring also recognizing those teams that commit to STEM outreach in their communities and those teams showing a robust business strategy for fundraising. In all, more than $45,000 was awarded, distributed among the following teams:

FRC Recipients

Center High School

Fort Osage Career and Technology Center

Grandview Senior High School

Harrisonville High School

Ruskin High School

Bishop Ward Cyclones

Cristo Rey


Up Next Leadership Foundation

FL Schlagle


Sumner High School

Wyandotte High School

Lincoln College Prep Academy


Lee’s Summit High School

Lee’s Summit North High School

Lee’s Summit West High School

North Kansas City High School

Oak Park High School 

Staley High School

Winnetonka High School

Piper High School 

Shawnee Mission North High School

Shawnee Mission South High School

Shawnee Mission West 

FTC Recipients

Blue Valley CAPS

Center Middle School

Smith Hale

Center Place Restoration School

Kansas City Public Library

Notre Dame De Sion

Shawnee Mission Christian School

FL Schlagle


Raytown HS and Raytown South

Grant Program Goals

The goal of these grants is to sustain robotics programs in underserved communities and facilitate recent start-up teams.  Successful applications will address a diverse socio-economic school environment; increased student engagement in STEM education through FIRST Robotics; commitment to the development of student teams; recruitment of volunteer mentors; designing and building of remote-controlled robots; and, participation in the Kansas City FIRST Regional Competition or a KC FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier.

Allowable Expenses and Activities

This cash grant will be paid to the team’s school district or FIRST fiscal agent (non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization) or will go directly to FIRST to underwrite all or part of team registration fees for the 2016 -2017 season. Examples of allowable expenses and activities include: team registration for competitions and tournament fees, team travel expenses, materials or tools required by the team in order to construct their robot, stipends for coaches or mentors, outreach expenses including costs associated with recruiting students and increasing parental and community support for the program.

Schools and programs that receive this grant agree to:

  • Attend and participate in a Kansas City FIRST Tech Challenge Missouri Qualifier or the Greater Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competition in March 2017 (specific dates TBA). Grantees who fail to participate in an FTC Missouri Qualifier or the Greater Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competition must return any awarded grant funds to KC STEM Alliance by May 31, 2017.
  • Develop and execute plans to increase participation of traditionally underserved students including participation in outreach programming hosted at the KC Engineering Zone or volunteer at the KC FIRST tournament (this can include set-up), or provide support for outreach/mentoring efforts with KC STEM Alliance.
  • Submit an end-of-the-year report that indicates which event(s) the team attended and the level of success in regards to increasing student participation in FIRST activities and events. Please include a final team budget for the current Season indicating actual revenue and expenses for the season. Templates will be provided. (Deadline for final report submission: 5 p.m., May 1, 2017.)
  • Participate in data collection and evaluation activities conducted by the KC STEM Alliance, including submission of demographic data on team participants, including gender, ethnicity and grade level of each participant.  New this year:  A valuable component of STEM outreach includes mentoring.  We will ask you to indicate any mentoring activities.

Terms of the Grant

  • Additional funds may be available to teams that advance through the FIRST Championship system. Other grants may be available through the KC STEM Alliance or through other regional or national funders to teams that demonstrate financial need.
  • Teams receiving grants must submit a final report to the KC STEM Alliance no later than May 1, 2017.
  • Teams who do not submit necessary forms and data jeopardize eligibility for future grants.
  • Teams must be in current good standing with KC STEM Alliance grant reporting requirements for grants received from KC STEM Alliance in previous seasons.