In 2006, The 100 collaborated with Millennium Training Systems (MTS), Johnson STEM Activity Center (JSAC) and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to create the 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance. This groundbreaking after-school and summer program provides students hands-on opportunities to plan, build, test and modify their own robots and to compete on a FIRST team, based on their age or experience.
MTS is responsible for day-to-day operations of the program. Bart Sudderth developed and implemented a STEM curriculum comprised of NASA educational materials that is used in conjunction with FIRST competitions. Dr. Lonnie Johnson, founder of JSAC, is an inventor and former NASA scientist who provides mentoring and a home for the 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance. FIRST is an international youth competition that motivates youth to pursue educational and career opportunities in STEM.
“Youth in underserved school districts aren’t any less intelligent than other students; they simply lack exposure, guidance and the chance to show they can excel. The 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance provides that opportunity by helping students build self-confidence and life skills essential for success,” said Kevin Gooch, Chairman of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. “To date, more than 10,000 students in underserved communities across the state have become part of the 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance, giving Georgia the highest participation rate in the country for minority students in youth STEM programs.