Google RISE Awards now Open to Ugandan applicants

Written by Josh Twin on . Posted in Tech

The application for the 2013 Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards is now open to Ugandan applicants! Google RISE Awards are designed to promote and support education initiatives in two key areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS). Once a year, Google grants awards of $5,000 - $25,000 USD to organizations working with primary and secondary school students in these fields around the world.

The Centre for Academic Achievement at DCU was one of 36 recipients of a Google Rise Award in 2012.  The Centre runs after school classes in a university setting for bright primary school students from socio-economic disadvantaged areas. Each term, pupils from 32 local primary schools get the opportunity to study, for free, science, maths and engineering subjects delivered by specialised staff.

The Fundi Bots Uganda was one of the 36 recipients of a Google Rise Award in 2012. It is a technology outreach programme for students in high school and university. Their

core focus is the use of Robotics to sensitize and create awareness in young children about the benefits and endless possibilities of technology in their day to day life. They also aim to promote early stage career development in technology and related fields. Creating a learning environment outside of schools where passionate African children can learn, grow and experiment with machines, gadgets and technology as a means of creative and innovative expression.

Solomon King, founder of Fundi Bots states that “The Google RISE Grant was instrumental in three primary ways; it helped meet our daily and monthly running costs, outreach to students and more importantly organisation of our first big Robotics Camp which saw 30 students participate in a 3 day robotics, electronics and programming course which was well received by the students.”

He continues to say that “A lot of our activities this year would not have been possible without the Google RISE grant, and I believe that any organisation seeking to extend the reach of its activities, should seriously consider applying for the awards.”

Niall Byrne, Pre-university Education Outreach Specialist, Google said; “This year the RISE awards are open to applicants from 243 countries on 6 continents. The growth of technology is undoubtable, and the impact technology will have on our future is equally undeniable. Inspiring the next generation of computer scientists will enrich the lives of not only individual students, but also the communities they live in.  So I encourage all organisations and institutions involved in promoting STEM and CS subjects to apply for a grant to assist the work they do.”

This year, the Rise community welcomed more than two dozen organizations from around the world, from Denmark to Uganda to California and Romania. The RISE grants have helped these groups to scale their reach by allowing for more scholarship recipients, to deepen their impact by providing hands on robotics kits, and to ultimately inspire their students by creating a community for CS outreach.

The closing date for applications is September 30th, 2012. Awardees will be announced by January 2013. Application forms can be downloaded at http://www.google.com/edu/rise/application.html

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