INSPIRATION IS EVERWHERE

Featured Image

Display Title

Grant partnership helps break down barriers to STEM access in First Nations communities

Sub Title

Alberta Distance Learning Center

FIRST STEM Community

The Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC) is breaking down access barriers to hands-on, community-based STEM learning experiences in First Nations communities in Alberta with the support of a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant. The grant helped establish and grow robotics teams at three First Nations schools, including funding ADLC curriculum development, First Nations teacher training, and a celebratory robotics and cultural event.

 

Background
Young people from First Nations communities in Canada experience graduation rates that are lower than the Canadian average, often attributed to low attendance rates and skill shortages. To engage students in school and help build STEM literacy, educational programs must provide hands-on, community-based opportunities that align with Indigenous ways of learning, as well as break down barriers to access in their remote and rural communities.
 

First Nations schools add robotics
In 2016, the Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC), which offers flexible distance learning to help students gain skills and earn credits toward graduation, received a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant to establish and grow robotics teams at three First Nations schools in Alberta. The funding also supported ADLC curriculum development, First Nations teacher training, and a celebratory robotics and cultural event.
 

Enabling community-based learning
Through ADLC, students could gain access to credits for participating meaningfully on FIRST teams. FIRST LEGO League teams learned to build, program, and present. FIRST Robotics Competition teams built 120-pound robots over six weeks to compete in an off-reserve competition. FIRST engaged the students in STEM and helped increase school attendance.

“We’ve never had robotics on our reserve. We felt it was important to help people learn about robotics because from robots you can launch careers into greater things: programming, building, design, repair,” – Lloyd Verreault, teacher/mentor, FIRST Robotics Competition team “Alexis Tech Warriors”


View Case Study


Read More Stories

FIRST helps students find a community

Josue Melgar

2015 Dean’s List Finalist, Mexico

 
viewFIRST Student

FIRST changed my son’s life

Franny Madison-Kish

Mother of Joshua Kish, Alum of FIRST Tech Challenge Team 288, The RoboDawgs, of Grandville, Michigan; and FIRST Robotics Competition Team 931, Perpetual Chaos, of St. Louis, Missouri

 
viewFIRST Parent
NEW

Bringing engineering opportunities to Title I schools

Lawrence High School

FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1289, Gearheadz, of Lawrence, Massachusetts

 
viewFIRST Robotics Competition Team

FIRST taught me valuable coding and leadership skills

Christina Li

FIRST Alumna, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 217, The Thunder Chickens, of Sterling Heights, Michigan
White House Science Fair participant

 
viewFIRST Alum
NEW