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. Applications for the 2019-20 FIRST robotics season are closed.

Grant support for FIRST Robotics teams

Applications are closed for 2019-20 season

KC STEM Alliance has closed applications for the 2019-20 FIRST season. Last year, grants for FIRST Robotics Competition teams ranged from $500 to $3,500 per team, with an average of $2,000 per team. Last year’s FIRST Tech Challenge grants averaged $550 per team and ranged from $200 to $700. This season’s grant amounts will be determined by the number of applications, evaluation of applications by a grant review board and the total amount of grant funding available.

The Timeline

Application deadline: September 11, 2019

Notification of award: September 18, 2019

Distribution of checks: 3 weeks after receipt of invoice

Special Note: Teams must apply for and receive this grant to be eligible for KC STEM Alliance’s Advancement Grants (which help cover costs to compete at an event advanced to from the region). See additional details on the grant application form.

With support from its generous funders, KC STEM Alliance awards cash grants to support and increase student participation in robotics programs.

Applications are 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.

Eligibility and Funding Priorities

Eligible recipients include 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 rookie or young teams, those new to fundraising and those doing exceptional STEM outreach. 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. Underserved populations are defined as females, minorities and students with disabilities.  Funds for this initiative originate from the generosity of multiple local funders to the KC STEM Alliance.

The number of grants awarded each year is based on the number and type of applications received and determined by a grants committee.

Grant Program Goals

The goal of these grants is to sustain robotics programs in underserved communities, facilitate recent start-up teams and encouraging teams engaging in STEM outreach. 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 one of the Kansas City FIRST Regional Competitions or one of the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifiers in the Kansas City area.

Allowable Expenses and Activities

This cash grant is paid to the team’s school district or FIRST fiscal agent (non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization). 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/Western Missouri FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier or one of the Greater Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competitions. Grantees who fail to participate in a regional FTC Qualifier or a FIRST Robotics Competition must return any awarded grant funds to KC STEM Alliance by May 31, 2020.
  • Develop and execute plans to increase participation of traditionally underserved students, such as participation in outreach programming or volunteering at regional events (this can include set-up), or providing 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.
  • 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.
  • Submit a final report by 5 p.m. May 8, 2020. (Form to be provided to grant recipients.)