The Coalition supports robotics teams serving Philadelphia public high school students. This support is delivered through the following programs:
Program Grants for FIRST Tech Challenge Teams
The Coalition awards grants of up to $2000 for teams to register for competition, purchase parts and tools, and travel to events. Twelve teams received Coalition program grants in the 2017–2018 school year.
Through a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Coalition pays small stipends to District teachers who coach robotics teams after school hours. A dedicated coach is a team’s greatest asset. With new funding, we hope to increase these stipends to ensure coaches are fully and fairly compensated for the hundreds of hours they devote to their students.
In partnership with Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics and local teams, the Coalition organizes a series of workshops and a scrimmage for FIRST Tech Challenge Teams. Staffed by volunteers, these workshops guide teams through the engineering design process and prepare them for competition. A year-end competition event called RoboRumble caps off the season.
Beyond a coach, teams benefit immensely from professional help and guidance. The Coalition works to recruit engineers and other professionals to visit the teams each week. At present, our partnership with NAVSEA Philadelphia — a civilian engineering division of the US Navy — provides our largest group of professional mentors. NAVSEA alone cannot meet the mentorship needs of all our teams, so we are eager to recruit additional mentorship partners.