Robotics Education and Competition Foundation Receives $750K from Texas Workforce Commission

The grant will be used to give thousands of Texas students access to robotics and STEM learning resources.

The Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation has announced its partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Texas Youth Robotics Initiative to expand access to robotics and learning resources to underrepresented high school students across the state of Texas.

Headquartered in Greenville, Texas, REC Foundation aims to increase student involvement in STEM through robotics and engineering programs. It also promotes teamwork, collaboration, and diversity through various initiatives like Girl Powered, which works to improve female involvement in STEM.

The nearly $750K grant given by TWC will provide competitive robotics to rural and Title 1 schools, impacting up to 4,800 high school students who don’t have access to STEM programming.

“We’re thrilled to receive a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to increase participation in competitive robotics in our home state of Texas,” CEO of the REC Foundation Dan Mantz said in a statement. “This investment will offer the opportunity for thousands of students to access science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. It will also help prepare the next generation of innovators to have a rewarding career which will ultimately help enhance Texas’s workforce.”

In April, REC Foundation’s annual VEX Robotics World Championship—recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest robotics competition in the world—announced it was going virtual for the first time ever.

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis and national quarantine, the REC Foundation was forced to cancel the yearly week-long celebration of hands-on STEM learning that showcases students’ technical skills. For the tournament, top global teams use robotics to go head-to-head in creative design thinking and problem solving.

Last year, we told you about the competition returning to Dallas for the first time in a decade when the REC Foundation and the Dallas Sports Commission announced that it would be held here from 2021 through 2024. It was previously held in Dallas in 2009-2010, but the REC Foundation decided Dallas’ growing status as a “hotbed for STEM jobs” made it a perfect fit.

“After a comprehensive search for cities to host the World’s Largest Robotics Competition, we couldn’t be happier to bring this event back to Dallas in 2021,” Mantz previously said. “Our home office is based in Texas just outside of Dallas, so we know first-hand how committed the city is to innovation, STEM education, and the future workforce.”

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