Polytechnic Institute of NYU has received a $50,000 Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Foundation

Polytechnic Institute of NYU has received a $50,000 Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Foundation to help fund teams from ten local schools for the Brooklyn FIRST Lego robotics competition.

The FIRST Lego robotics competition allows students ages nine to 14, working in teams and mentored by Polytechnic Institute of NYU graduate students, to compete to research, design, build, and program robotic creations to carry out a series of missions on table-top playing fields.

Students strengthen their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) while learning to use the Internet and other resources to study challenge topics, present their results and test their robotic creations.

The Motorola Foundation’s Innovation Generation grant program seeks to spark students’ interest in STEM and to help develop critical-thinking skills for the long term. Providing $4 million to K-12 programs across the U.S. in 2008, the initiative supports hands-on after-school programs, science and math clubs, teacher training and mentoring programs. By providing strong STEM education at an early academic level, Polytechnic Institute of NYU is working with Motorola to help encourage commitment to STEM learning and future STEM career paths.

“NYU-Poly has always been committed to providing a strong foundation in STEM education on which students can pursue higher education and professional careers,” said Vikram Kapila. associate professor of mechanical engineering. “We have great relationships with the local school districts, and are looking forward to broadening them by enhancing the STEM curricula and fostering future discovery, innovation and invention.”

“By showing students the real-world applications of concepts they learn in the classroom, Innovation Generation programs open their eyes to possibilities,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. “Programs like NYU-Poly’s develop students’ confidence and skills to succeed in a sophisticated world and a competitive global marketplace.”