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Cross robotics team awarded $20k+ in grants for work on inclusion, diversity

Published Monday, December 10, 2018

Mighty Trojans Robotics Team

Pictured left to right are Shawn Simmons, Juan Mendez-Arciniega, Santory Jones, Gary Dent, Essence Ronjon, M.B. Smith, Cameron White, Kathy Lawson, Javier Morales-Arciniega, Seated- Kaylee Viars (BCSD photo)

Cross High School Academy Coach Miriam Smith wanted to do more to promote inclusion and the diversified representation of her school.

With the assistance of two other faculty members, the Mighty Trojans Robotics Team was born this year with a goal of indoctrinating and encouraging students with interest in engineering.

The program places a specific focus on diversity and gender-minority inclusion in STEM activities. With the support of Principal Alicia Pressley and Assistant Principal Leah Simmons, those behind the work of the Mighty Trojans Robotics Team describe it as “trendsetting.”

Cross High was recently awarded more than $20,000 in grants and sponsorships tied to the creation of the program.

Volvo has pledged $10,000 to the program. Google will award $11,760 to the team, and Berkeley Electric Co-Op has pledged a $1,000 commitment for the expansion of the team.

With the assistance of Google and SPAWAR, the team has competed in several local competitions.