Partnership Boosts STEM Skills in Native American Communities

The REC Foundation, in partnership with Amazon and Google, is helping student and indigenous teams showcase robotics skills and earn spots at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship.

Image courtesy of REC Foundation.
The REC Foundation, in partnership with Amazon and Google, is helping student and indigenous teams showcase robotics skills and earn spots at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship.

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation is partnering to bring Native American and Indigenous teams together for the 4th annual Southwest Native American Showcase.

The event, which took place earlier this November, offers a unique opportunity for students to showcase their robotics skills and earn coveted spots at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship, the world's largest robotics competition. This collaboration with Amazon, Indigitize, an organization that makes computer science more accessible to Indigenous communities, and Google, demonstrates a shared commitment to foster STEM-related learning and workforce development among Native American and Indigenous students.

The 4th annual Southwest Native American Showcase will have more than 250 students competing for several days. These students represent diverse tribes from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Amazon's generous support is instrumental in enabling these teams and their coaches to attend this event at no cost. Without this partnership, many of these tribes might miss the chance to participate in such an enriching experience.

“We are excited to join forces with Amazon with additional support from Indigitize and Google to create meaningful opportunities for Native American and Indigenous students in robotics,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “This partnership represents a commitment to bridge the gap in STEM education and provide these communities with the tools and support they need to thrive. Together, we can help inspire and prepare these students for technology careers.”

The partnerships will cover travel, lodging, and competition expenses for participating teams hailing from regions throughout the United States. This invaluable support ensures that students and educators from middle and high schools can immerse themselves in STEM knowledge and explore exciting career possibilities.

“We're thrilled to partner with the REC Foundation for the Southwest Native American Showcase to increase access to culturally responsive CS education and career exploration opportunities for Indigenous youth,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of Amazon's philanthropic education initiatives. “This current generation of students will soon enter a fast-changing workforce in need of innovative thinkers. The Showcase presents an opportunity for students to dream big by engaging them in unique robotics activities that will challenge their problem-solving skills. Through our partnership, we can help encourage students to lead, break barriers, and create positive change in their communities and globally.”

In addition to the competition, the REC Foundation is extending invitations to students and educators from six Native American school districts in Arizona to introduce them to the robotics program and opportunities.

To learn more about REC Foundation's robotics program, watch this video.

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Image courtesy of REC Foundation.

Robot Technologies