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Grant from national nonprofit FIRST® will increase access, resources for students: Meadowcreek Cluster awarded $20,000 grant to support robotics, coding, and STEM education

Meadowcreek Cluster honored with national grant

Grant from national nonprofit FIRST® will increase access, resources for students: Meadowcreek Cluster awarded $20,000 grant to support robotics, coding, and STEM education

September 15, 2017


Contact: Lynnette Aponte, Community Outreach Specialist 770-309-0613​

     Norcross, GA – Meadowcreek High School announced it has received a $20,000 continuation grant from FIRST® – the national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) advocacy nonprofit – to create access to hands-on STEM learning experiences for underrepresented and underserved students in the Meadowcreek Cluster.

     The Meadowcreek Cluster Robotics & Computational Thinking Program integrates robotics education and computational thinking into inter-disciplinary STEM and STEAM classes at Ferguson, Graves, Lilburn, Meadowcreek, Nesbit, and Rockbridge elementary schools and at Lilburn and Radloff middle schools. The program also supports the following robotic competition teams: FIRST LEGO League (FLL), Jr. for kindergarten to 3rd grade students, and FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams for 4th grade to 7th grade students. Additionally, this award will allow Lilburn and Radloff middle schools to bring FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition to their 7th and 8th grade students. 

     These extracurricular competition teams are supported by Meadowcreek High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team students under the direction of Mr. Shawn Merchant. This portion of Meadowcreek’s Colts to Mustang program allows high school students to further develop their leadership and collaborative skills as they serve as interns and mentors embedded in the FLL, Jr., FLL, and FIRST Tech Challenge programs. The interns support the students and coaches, creating a sustainable pipeline of motivated and driven students of robotics and coding into Meadowcreek U’s School of STEM pathway programs and our community. 

     Grant sponsors include Arconic Foundation, Qualcomm, Inc., Caterpillar, GM, GitHub, John Deere, and New York City individuals, among others, and the Meadowcreek Cluster will receive resources and support from FIRST as it develops the programs.

     The 2018 FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant application process will open in the fall of next year, and grants will be awarded to a mix of current and new recipients. More information will become available at

About The Meadowcreek Cluster STEM Team

The Meadowcreek Cluster STEM mission is to provide student centered learning through motivating experiences while providing a rigorous and technologically enhanced curriculum in combination with the liberal arts to inspire creative, critical and analytical thinking. The Meadowcreek Cluster STEM team is comprised of teachers from Ferguson, Graves, Lilburn, Meadowcreek, Nesbit, and Rockbridge elementary schools; Lilburn and Radloff middle schools; and Meadowcreek High School. The team meets regularly to collaborate and share instructional strategies in an effort to engage and inspire students to maximize their potential and ensure they are well-equipped to meet the challenges of and contribute to the global community.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12;FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to



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