Does vex do a good job of addressing it's racial disparities and supporting lower income teams/schools? grants and funding in general

I have been curious as to how/if vex has taken a deep dive into looking into the racial demographics of students participating in vex. Additionally, have you seen these disparities play out in your state/region? While I am aware that vex has placed lots of funding into its girl-powered initiative, I wonder if they pay the same attention to addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities. The Girl Powered grants are offered to teams with at least 50% female participation, and while I do appreciate the intention of this initiative, wouldn’t it make sense to be offering some of this money to students in lower-income HS’s. I believe one of the main reasons for the racial disparities that have been apparent to me in VRC is because of a lack of funding. While the reason for a lack of female participation is more so related to cultural and societal expectations rather than a lack of money and pushing girls into different career paths. So I feel it would make more sense to place that grant money into addressing the racial disparities which actually are directly linked to not having the resources, resulting in less participation. I am not saying that the girl-powered initiative is not important by any means, I just think that the way that vex is encouraging more female participation is not really getting at the core issue. And using money as a form of encouragement for those who already an afford to participate in vex seems like a poor distribution of resources. For anyone who has competed in VRC and has had issues funding whether race related or not, how have you been able to afford to compete? Please comment any thoughts regarding this issue.


My dad was able to at least attend college due to scholarships (he grew up in a family that was below the poverty line, and many times many family members didn’t eat for the sake of having their brothers and sisters have food on their plates), but I do have to be blunt that he was hated by many Americans because he was getting lower-income scholarships although he was not black. That being said, although the title does not matter, for such a media-centric country as America, many things are judged by the label. I would support this, but only under the condition that race is irrelivent, only income. And if we consider only income, VEX already has grants in-place to allow lower-income members to compete. Heck, even the entire premise of VEX Robotics is to offer affordable robotics to allow lower-income schools to learn STEM.

Here’s grants that students can apply to utilize if they cannot figure out how to afford competing in VEX:


While economic disparity needs to be addressed, I have to agree with @Connor. There is no way to base grants on student race without upsetting people. Doing it entirely based on wealth also eliminates basing anything on stereotypes and focuses on what the real problem is.


I’m thinking you are wondering if RECF, a non-profit educational organization, is addressing racial disparities - not VEX, a for -profit company. And the answer is an unequivocable yes. I think Dan Mantz even addressed this in virtual worlds. RECF has partnerships with NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers), Native American Tribes (I saw a video about a team that was invited to Worlds and believe their trip was paid for), Deaf schools, and I believe hispanic STEM groups. Dan Mantz and his staff has done a wonderful job at this. To address your concern over lack of funding for low income teams - check the RECF website. There are team grants available. I’m sure an RSM could assist underfunded teams getting sponsorships. OP, I would encourage you to do some research on this topic and just how much outreach RECF and Dan Mantz have done.

To your last question “For anyone who has competed in VRC and has had issues with funding whether race related or not, how have you been able to afford to compete?” Question I have is are you talking about starting a private team or a school team? Most school teams in my area have very low dues requirements and would waive the dues for students in financial need. On the other hand, it is very expensive - even for well-resourced families - to field a private team. So I would encourage anyone wanting to participate in robotics to get a team established in their school. Then the barrier to entry should not be so high.


It is not ok for you to mention racial disparities

I am confused by this statement? Please clarify

Well I am not ok with hearing race related statements.

then don’t… click on the post?


ok that is fine, if you are not ok with hearing race related statements it might be a good Idea to mute this thread.

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Well it alarmed me to see someone saying something on this about race

well racial disparity is a really big issue in today’s world, and if you get alarmed every time someone mentions it you shouldn’t click on topics containing “racial disparity” in the title.


Ok ok I get it just stop

Hey let’s not start an argument, everyone has their own opinion, let’s move on


Ok great I am going to move on

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If you click/tap on the button under the “topic controls” button, you can mute the topic.


I have heard Dan Mantz mention this topic before, and I do think that he wants to do something about the disparity, but I don’t think there are currently any grants through RECF to support minorities /low income schools that are similar to the Girl Powered initiative.

Our team is from San Ysidro High School. We are located within sight of the US/Mexico border, 97% of the students at our school are Hispanic and are one of the lowest income communities in California. We have never been awarded a RECF grant, and I don’t believe there are any that we qualify for. Most RECF grants exist to help get teams started and we are an established program. That said, we have applied for and received several grants from other places that have really helped our team a lot. There are definitely grants out there that exist for supporting minorities in engineering, I just don’t know of any through RECF.


Then cover your ears.


I don’t agree with silencing people, so I believe you have every right to respond in this thread. But I have to be abundantly clear that you won’t make it far, especially in life, if you cannot handle statements that bring forth opinions you may disagree with. If I may ask, I would love to hear your opinion in this thread, and it would be nice if you can at least provide some sort of reasoning behind your statement.

To all those who say “Just leave,” you are pretty much saying “Be quiet,” which is relatively rude. I would like to have a civil discussion with @Unicornlover, not set him/her aside just because their opinion is somehow different. So what I said to @Unicornlover applies to the others in this thread too.


To a person that posts an opinion backed up up by no reasoning that isn’t even relevant to the question the topic is asking, I think it’s ok to say that they shouldn’t be in this topic.


Oh so you are saying I am being rude? I don’t think I am