[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 2455






Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)


District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman† WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Moen, Peterson, DiMaio, Conaway, Zwicker, Assemblywoman Carter, Assemblyman Stanley, Assemblywomen Jasey, Reynolds-Jackson, Assemblymen Calabrese, McKeon and Assemblywoman DiMaso






†††† Establishes pilot program in DOE to support FIRST Robotics Programs in school districts.



†††† As reported by the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on February 22, 2021, with amendments.


An Act establishing a robotics competition pilot program in the Department of Education.


†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


††††† 1. a. The Commissioner of Education shall establish a three-year pilot program that provides grant funding to 1encourage and support1 school districts to 1establish For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) nonprofit organizationís robotics programs and1 participate in 1a1 FIRST Robotics 1[Competitions] Competition1. The purpose of the pilot program shall be to:

††††† (1) increase opportunities for students to participate in 1a1 FIRST Robotics 1[Competitions] Competition1;

††††† (2) motivate students to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; and

††††† (3) improve studentsí knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

††††† b. A school district that wants to participate in the pilot program shall submit an application to the commissioner in such form as required by the commissioner. The school district shall select no more than one school serving students from grades nine through 12 to participate in the pilot program.

††††† c. The commissioner shall select up to 12 school districts for participation in the pilot program. The commissioner shall select districts in the northern, central, and southern regions of the State and shall seek a cross section of school districts from urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State. The 1school districts selected by the1 commissioner shall 1[award] be eligible for1 grants, within the limit of available 1[State appropriations] funds that are donated pursuant to subsection d. of this section1, to 1[selected school districts to]1 be used to support the development and implementation of a FIRST 1[Robotics Program] robotics program1 in the selected schools. The 1[commissioner] FIRST nonprofit organization1 shall determine the amount of each grant awarded under the program and may award multi-year grants. Grants awarded pursuant to this subsection shall be used by school districts to provide coaching stipends, purchase materials for competitions, finance competition travel expenses, and register for events. School districts selected by the commissioner to participate in the pilot program may apply for additional funding as teams in the school district become eligible to participate in 1the1 FIRST 1[Robotics Programís] robotics programís1 district, district championship, and world championship events.

††††† d. 1The commissioner shall collaborate with the FIRST nonprofit organization, educational advocacy groups, and private sector businesses to encourage and identify the donation of funds for the purpose of awarding grants pursuant to subsection c. of this section.

†††† e.1 Three years following the establishment of the pilot program, the commissioner shall submit a report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1). The report shall contain information on the implementation of the pilot program, the number of students participating in the program, and the recommendations of the commissioner on continuing, expanding, or modifying the program.


†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.