The first Build a Bot Awards received strong applications and we are so thrilled to have the opportunity to award some of them. A total of 50 applications were submitted by schools and organizations in 17 different U.S. states and territories. Thanks to our generous donors during our 2020 Restore the Build a Bot Fund fundraising campaign, the Build a Bot Fund had $10,000 to give for this first cohort of awards.
Find out more about the schools and organizations that were selected to receive an award:


Magnolia Science Academy – San Diego, CA

To protect the vitality of the Lake Murray ecosystem and to learn about the importance of preserving water in drought-affected Southern California, students will be using their SeaPerch ROVs to clean trash and other debris and motivate their local community to get involved in conservation efforts.


Dunedin High School Naval JROTC – Dunedin, FL

Naval Junior ROTC Cadets as well as students from the school’s robotics program will form a new, unique collaboration to build and test SeaPerch ROVs while serving on a “Ship’s Crew” and conducting “Sea Trials”,  deploying their ROVs in local waterways in partnership with local maritime organizations.

Briar Lake Elementary School – Decatur, GA

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners will build SeaPerch ROVs during the regular school day, opening the opportunity to participate in the program to students who cannot join afterschool clubs due to a lack of transportation.

Odyssey Academy Galveston Campus – Galveston, TX

Odyssey Academy Galveston Campus, in partnership with Earth Echo and Galveston Bay Foundation, will introduce SeaPerch to 30 students who will learn about water quality monitoring, STEM careers and citizen science projects as they use their ROVs to study Galveston coastal erosion, red tide issues, and other real-world problems.

Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum, Inc. – Madisonville, LA

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, in partnership with NASA, the Naval Research Lab, Southeastern Louisiana University and local industries, will use the Build-a-Bot award to replace aging SeaPerch ROVs to ensure the current and continued success of the Aquatic Robotics program after the finances of the museum and its donors were impacted due to shutdowns.


Wilson Middle School Leadership Academy – Albuquerque, NM

The Build-a-Bot award at Wilson Middle School Leadership Academy will be used to expand a long-running afterschool SeaPerch program where up to 100 students will learn that science and engineering can be fun and exciting, all with the assistance of engineers, scientists, pilots, Airmenand federal contractors from nearby Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories.

New Manufacturing Alliance/ North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance – Green Bay, WI

The North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance (NCMMA) and the NEW Manufacturing Alliance (NEWMA) will use the Build-a-Bot award to expand their reach from 20 to 45 rural student teams (180 students) by providing ROV kits at no cost to after-school venues and STEM clubs with a focus on including female and underserved students.

What are the Build a Bot awards? Our primary goal with this program is to reduce barriers to participation and to promote avenues for educators, mentors and students to get involved in hands-on STEM projects. Through the Build a Bot program we will award recipients with needs-based materials, training support, and connection to a broad community of advocates engaged in SeaPerch. The most exciting part is that each recipient will determine how the program will fit best in their community.

Once again, thank you to all those who submitted an application, and to all the donors and evaluators who made this a possibility! bwin

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