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As we all fondly remember the last FLL season and prepare for the the next season, I would greatly appreciate some advice and some assistance from our veteran coaches and mentors. I'll get straight to the point (so you can either delete this email or continue reading). The Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, in Maryland, needs funding to startup a robotics program and I am requesting help in locating possible sources of support.
 
This year, the BGCAA is starting a robotics program as a STEM initiative and is in a difficult and unique financial situation. For nearly every FLL team that I know of, there has always been some source of funding for the robotics program. If there was little or no support from the sponsoring organization, the parents of the participants could "pass the hat" to collect money for a new robot or similar expenses. I know that I have personally purchased a robot or two for my son's robotics program and know of several cases where grandparents or close relatives of the team has been able to pitch in to provide the needed funding. For the BGCAA, it is not the same situation. As a rule (to which I currently know no exceptions), the BGCAA children and their families are financially disadvantaged. Additionally, since this is a startup program, we have many non-recurring expenses which creates a relatively large financial need. We are looking for funding which is external to the BGCAA and its participants.
 
We have been beating the bushes for sources of funding and are running into obstacles. We have recently submitted a grant proposal to help cover the expenses of the program, but we have been told that our budget is nearly four times the possible grant. Without asking you all to write a check to help our financial dilemma, I would appreciate any recommendations on where to go to find other sources of funding. Do any of your companies have sources of grant money? Are there any other sources of funding or support?
 
Attached to this email is a draft, generic grant proposal for the BGCAA. Please read it for more details and forward it on, if you think it might help with securing sources of funding.
 
The robotics STEM point of contact for the BGCAA is Dr. Clark "Corky" Graham. He can be reached at:[log in to unmask]
 
Any help that can be provided would be appreciated.
 
In closing, I would like to forward to you an extract from Barak Obama's recent remarks at the very recent National Academy of the Sciences Annual Meeting, which was sent to me from a fellow robotics coach and mentor.
 
Thanks!
Bill Aucoin
 
PS: Thank you for not deleting this email and if you are willing to personally contribute, either financially or non-financially, to this program, that would  be greatly appreciated. Contact Dr Graham to see what you can do to help.
 
______________________
 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-the-National-Academy-of-Sciences-Annual-Meeting/
 
April 27, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ANNUAL MEETING


National Academy of Sciences
Washington, D.C.
 
"...So I want to persuade you to spend time in the classroom, talking and showing young people what it is that your work can mean, and what it means to you.  I want to encourage you to participate in programs to allow students to get a degree in science fields and a teaching certificate at the same time.  I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, whether it's science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and invent -- to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.

I want you to know that I'm going to be working alongside you.  I'm going to participate in a public awareness and outreach campaign to encourage students to consider careers in science and mathematics and engineering -- because our future depends on it...."
 
-U.S. PRESIDENT, BARAK OBAMA
April 27, 2009
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