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Robotics League Participation Grants

High School Engineering Class- robotics team with teacher

 

We are pleased to announce continued funding for participation in robotics competitions. Under this appropriation, grant awards will be available of up to $5,000 to public schools, 2R and 2X charter schools, private schools, and home-based educational programs to facilitate participation in robotics competitions. Eligible teams include students in grades 6 through 12 and have at least one mentor. Allowable expenses will include fees, kits, supplies required to participate in a single robotics competition, travel expenses, and a stipend for the mentor of an eligible team. Read the statute in full here. And, read a list of Frequently Asked Questions here

2019-20 Robotics League Grant Report - details the budget spent and teams that were awarded grants

Requirements for Eligible Applicants

Eligible teams of pupils in grades 6-12 from school districts or charter schools established under section 118.40(2r) and (2x), private schools and home-based private education programs may submit one application per eligible team.

Eligible Teams

All team members must be in grades 6-12 during the grant year.

Robotics Competition

Eligible team participates in one or more competitions that require teams to design and operate robots. The competition(s) shall be sponsored by a nonprofit corporation as described under s. 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service. The competition organization encourages young people to develop an interest in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics.

Mentor

Each eligible team shall have at least one mentor.

Allowable Expenses

Required fees, required kits, and required supplies to participate in a single robotics competition; travel expenses to robotics competition for eligible team members; and a stipend for the mentor of an eligible team.

Matching Expenses

Each applicant shall secure matching funds in an amount equal to amount requested in application by the time the application is submitted. 

Funding Availability

There is a maximum award of $5,000. If the requests from applications approved exceed the amount of funding, the department will prorate the amount it awards to each applicant. The Department of Public Instruction cannot award more than $5,000 to an eligible team in a school year.

Grant Period

Grants expenditures shall be for the period of July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022. All applications must demonstrate an equal amount of matching funds. 

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Step 1: Submit Online

  • Complete the electronic application by 11:59 pm CT on October 29, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted. On the application at the end you will identify an administrator to have the completed form emailed to. That person will receive an email to virtually approve and sign-off on the application - that has to happen for the application to be routed for DPI review. Make sure you have the correct administrator email. A paper/pdf version of the application will not be available. 
  • The electronic submission webpage will display a confirmation page when your application has been received. You will have an option to download a pdf and will receive an email confirmation. 

Application Due Date

  • Electronically submitted applications are to be received by 11:59 pm on October 29, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.
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Step 2: Contest Participation

  • Eligible team participates in one or more competitions that require teams to design and operate robots.
  • The competition(s) shall be sponsored by a qualifying 501 (c)3 nonprofit corporation.

Allowable Expenses

  • For the 2021-22 season, all expenses shall be during the period of July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022. Allowable expenses include:  required fees, required kits, and required supplies to participate in robotics competitions; travel expenses to robotics competitions for eligible team members; and a stipend for the mentor of an eligible team.
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Step 3: Expense Reporting

  • After the eligible robotics team has competed, complete the Post-Conference Expense Reporting (PI-2774) form (be sure to download and open in Adobe for full functionality).
  • Submit with receipts or a business ledger of all expenses being requested for reimbursement and all expenses accounted for as the matching amount. For a school district, a printout of the general ledger will be sufficient along with details of the expenses. With matching requirements, total expenses should be at least double the amount requested in the grant.
  • Email the form to robotics@dpi.wi.gov.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ for the Application Process:

Q: What if we don't know the date of the competition?     A: For 2021 and 2022, many tournaments have not released dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the digital form (which requires a date), you can put an estimated date as a placeholder. 

Q: What if the competition gets canceled? Or, what if a competition is virtual?     A: Grant applications must indicate the qualified robotics competition in which the eligible team plans to participate. This competition may be in-person or virtual. If a team applies for the robotics grant, spends money on allowed expenses, and then has their planned competition canceled, they can still receive their awarded reimbursement on those allowed expenses, as long as they also still have a matched amount spent. Teams must show a good faith effort to compete in a competition, and we will only reimburse teams for expenses if they were not able to compete because of COVID.

Q: What if we don't have an administrator available to sign the digital form once completed?     A: The system will send them an email to digitally sign the form. There will not be a paper version available. The person identified on page 4 of the application will receive email confirmation once the administrator digitally signs off on the application.

FAQ for the End-of-Year Reimbursement Form:

Q: What do we do for the required match?     A: At the end of the grant cycle, grant awardees will need to provide an itemized report of what you spent matching funds on, with a total equal to or greater than the total you are asking for as a reimbursement. That will be in addition to the itemized report you provide detailing use of your grant funds. In-kind donations are not acceptable for the match. Funds for the match can come from other grant sources, but DPI still needs a full accounting of what funds were spent on. 

Q: Do we need to submit receipts?   A: DPI needs itemized business management documentation (often something schools/districts have) and/or itemized receipts (receipts required for homeschool groups). 

Q: What if we don't spend all the money?     A: Submit a reimbursement for less than your awarded amount, along with match details that equal the amount you're requesting for reimbursement. 

Q: What goes in the columns on the end-of-year reimbursement form?     A: In the first column you detail all the expenses that you're asking DPI to reimburse, up to the award amount of your grant. In the second column you detail the matched expenses, which should equal or exceed the reimbursement request. In the third column, you total the first two columns. 

Q: What if our matched expenses are less than what we hope to be reimbursed from DPI, which is our award amount?     A: That's not tenable. You would need to adjust your claim down, so you wouldn't be claiming your full award, but you would have an equivalent match. In other words, your total expenses must be at least double the amount being requested from DPI for reimbursement.

Q: What if we don't have an invoice, receipt, or any business system documentation for an expense?     A: Then, it cannot be claimed. 

For questions about this information, contact Kevin Anderson (608) 266-3319