Student STEM Enrichment Program

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Valence Robotics





Valence Robotics is a nonprofit focused on building up students of all backgrounds to become the next generation of STEM leaders through the FIRST® Robotics Competition and parallel ventures.

Valence Robotics was established in October 2021 as an effort by students to found a team for the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) an international high school robotics program. From January to April, known as the build season, students work to design, build, and program a robot before entering into competitions. During this time, students gain experience with a range of tools, from industry-level computer-aided design software to professional machinery to high-level programming languages.

While the competitive season is an important part of FRC, the rest of the year is just as vital. During the offseason, students focus on other initiatives in order to sustain the team: recruitment and training, fundraising, and outreach. Our team strives to give students of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop their skills, so as a team we are always looking to recruit new members. We emphasize new member training, ensuring that everyone has the same opportunities, regardless of their robotics experience and technical skills. Another important part of the offseason is fundraising. Teams have to raise funds to pay for competition registration, building materials, tools, transportation, and other logistics. These expenses usually end up being tens of thousands of dollars; this money is obtained through grants, sponsorships, and donations. Through team fundraising, students build critical soft skills, such as professional communication, public speaking, writing, and networking. Beyond providing valuable experiences for members, our team strives to make an impact on our community through outreach. This includes many different projects, mostly aimed at younger students and children, including robotics summer camps and workshops to help prepare them for the future and introduce them to STEM.

From mechanical design to programming to brand development to fundraising to project management, Valence Robotics provides opportunities for highschool students to grow in both technical and business fields of their choosing. In this way, Valence Robotics greatly helps to prepare students for their future, whether they plan to pursue engineering or not.

Award Timeline

Mar 10, 2023

Application Opens

Jun 09, 2023

Application Deadline

Nov 30, 2023

Notice of Award

Dec 01, 2023

Award Start Date

Aug 30, 2026

Award End Date

Program Contacts

Alfred Mays

Senior Program Officer


Samantha Moore

Program Associate


Kendi Kajogo

Program Coordinator