Fourteen Kanawha County Schools have been chosen to receive VEX “Girl Powered Grants” to help support their robotics programs efforts in championing gender equality. These grants, provided through a combination of efforts by VEX robotics and their affiliated Robotic Education and Competition foundation, provide VEX IQ (elementary) and VEX EDR (secondary) kits to teams that are identified as “girl powered teams,” meaning they have at least 50 percent female teammates.
The following schools were chosen for the Girl Powered Grant:
The girl powered grants hope to help combat a national trend that shows only a 24% female participation within the STEM related workforce. More information on the grants are available at: https://www.girlpowered.com/girl-powered-grants/. Each elementary girl powered team receives a VEX IQ super kit, including a competition add-on kit and a foundation add-on kit. Each middle school and high school team receives a V5 competition starter kit and a $200 voucher for materials.
“We’re very proud of our work across the district to introduce every student to STEM activities, and we’re specifically proud of our VEX robotics programming,” said Dr. Ron Duerring, superintendent of Kanawha County Schools. “Robotics is a great way for all of our students, especially girls, to get involved in a way that can open doors and opportunities for their present and future.”
Kanawha County Schools has made concerted efforts towards increasing STEM-related programs within their schools. Thanks to a NASA grant, the district is in the middle of a three-year phase in program for robotics programming in every school across the county. Last school year, six elementary school robotics teams qualified for and competed in the VEX IQ World Championships. The KCS schools that competed were: Lakewood Elementary, Marmet Elementary, Cedar Grove Elementary, Alban Elementary, Central Elementary and Sharon Dawes Elementary. Sharon Dawes Elementary took home their division Innovate Award and their team was recognized by West Virginia First Lady, Cathy Justice.