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Leaders Announce $75,000 Grant During a Google CS First Roadshow at William Lenoir Middle

Students now have a head start in pursuit of robotics careers thanks to a Google data center grant. The grant will fund after-school robotics programs for third through twelfth grade students at three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school in the district. The curriculum will focus on Lego Education Robotics League materials and Vex Robotics.

The announcement came during a CS (computer science) First Roadshow event at William Lenoir Middle School on May 2 where students participated in hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) activities designed by Google. 

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx attended and participated in the announcement. Congresswoman  Foxx, who represents the Caldwell County community, serves as the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Congresswoman Foxx, a former postsecondary education instructor in western NC, heralded the grant and its impact on the community.

“The Caldwell County school system and its many fine students will benefit tremendously from Google’s data center grant. These students will be able to further their educational pursuits and become exposed to valuable curriculum that will surely inspire them to explore the opportunities that exist within the field of computer science,” said Congresswoman Foxx. “It’s abundantly clear to me, and countless others, that this investment will go on to amplify the innovation and talent found right here in North Carolina’s 5th District.”

A big part of the grant will ensure teachers responsible for the robotics clubs have all of the education they need to pass along the skills needed to fully understand the power and usefulness in robotics both today and into the future. 

“Our Caldwell County teachers are some of the best and most dedicated instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Caldwell County Schools Superintendent Don Phipps. “A big part of why our teachers and students remain on the cutting edge is thanks to the commitment of Google to make sure we have what we need to prepare our students for STEAM careers. From Rolling Study Halls to Students and Teachers at Work to the most recent BetaBox, our students have the same if not more opportunities to interact with technology than students in much larger school districts.”

This latest grant adds to more than $17 million in grant funding the tech company has made in North Carolina since it announced the construction of a data center in 2016. 

“We are proud to call Caldwell County home to our data center,” said Lilyn Hester, Google’s Head of External Affairs – Southeast. “As part of our commitment to the places where we call home, we focus on ensuring the students in our public schools have the tools and access needed to succeed.”

(news release provided by Google)