FIRST in Texas announces over $700,000 in grants for new robotics teams in underserved and rural communities 

The grants will provide financial support for the purchase of equipment and payment of registration fees, thus removing significant financial barriers to entry, says FIRST’s executive director, Jason Arms. 

EDINBURG, Texas – FIRST in Texas, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring K- 12 students in the STEM fields, has announced the availability of more than $700,000 in grants for new and existing FIRST robotics teams in Texas. 

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Jason Arms, executive director of FIRST in Texas, says the specific aim of the grants is to extend STEM opportunities to underserved and rural communities across the state of Texas. He said the grants will provide financial support for the purchase of equipment and payment of registration fees, removing significant financial barriers to entry. 

“Our priority is the safety and inspiration of our students,” Arms said. “These grants make it possible for more students to access invaluable STEM education and personal growth experiences, irrespective of their financial situation or geographical location.” 

Arms said the grants were made possible by “gracious sponsors.” He said the program comprises a mentor-led, six-month journey including the building, coding and competing a robot in a task based robotics program. 

FIRST in Texas is a nonprofit organization that serves over 30,000 K-12 students in 254 counties, supported by a dedicated volunteer base of 7,000 individuals. Arms said the organization works diligently to inspire young minds in STEM while ensuring their safety, wellbeing, and future readiness. 

According to its website the nonprofit is “dedicated to empowering and equipping students across Texas for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

The website states: “Our mission is to support FIRST® Robotics teams, facilitate professional STEM activities, provide comprehensive educator training, and organize inclusive events, all with a strong emphasis on enhancing accessibility for low-income and underrepresented students in Texas. Through our efforts, we aim to foster a transformative educational experience that enables students to develop critical skills, ignite their passion for STEM, and unlock their full potential as the next generation STEM workforce.”

Arms said FIRST in Texas is committed to expanding the reach of its proven STEM program, which annually involves more than 30,000 students across the state, in fostering 21st Century Skills, teamwork, and competitive spirit in a robust University Interscholastic League (UIL) partnered program. It offers both in person and remote participation. 

How to apply

Applications for the grants are already being accepted. FIRST in Texas invites schools, educators, and communities to “take advantage of this unique opportunity to join the FIRST in Texas family and make a lasting impact on youth education.”

For more information about FIRST in Texas robotics and the grant, visit or email

“Don’t miss this exciting opportunity while funds remain,” Arms added.

Alvarez joins FIRST

In other FIRST in Texas news, Arms told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service that former Texas Workforce Commissioner Julian Alvarez has joined the nonprofit’s board of directors. “There is no greater champion of FIRST at the statewide level than Julian Alvarez. As workforce commissioner he promoted our work in so many of his speeches. And, he was instrumental in helping secure state funding for our programs. So, it is just natural that he should join our board to help continue the work of building a strong future for Texas. We are delighted he has joined our board of directors,” Arms said.

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