NEW JERSEY – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that would establish a pilot program in the Department of Education to support FIRST Robotics Programs in school districts was advanced by the Senate Education Committee.
“All of the available data clearly shows that STEM fields are some of the fastest-growing in the country and will continue to be for some time,” Oroho (R-24) said. “My legislation will put science, technology, engineering, and mathematics front and center in select New Jersey schools and inspire students to pursue education and career opportunities in those fields.”
The legislation, S-2204, requires the DOE Commissioner to establish a three-year pilot program that provides grants to school districts to establish For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Programs and participate in a FIRST Robotics Competition. Up to twelve school districts will be selected to participate in the pilot program.
“This pilot program will not only increase opportunities for students to participate in FIRST Robotics Competitions, but it will provide us with a roadmap on how to make New Jersey a leader in STEM degrees and jobs,” added Oroho.
FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. 2020 was the 29th year of the FIRST Robotics Competition, with 3,898 teams, including more than 97,000 students, 29,000 mentors from 34 countries. Most teams reside in the U.S. (3,166) with Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Israel, China, and Australia contributing a significant number of teams.