FB Pixel Code

In 2023, a bill was passed by the Indiana State Legislature and signed into law by the governor that provided a path for robotics teams within Indiana schools to apply for funding to put towards tournament entrance fees. These fees are often a significant barrier to being able to compete. This funding was a good step towards creating a more egalitarian playing field within this valuable STEM competition. Unfortunately, the way this bill was worded excluded many teams throughout the state, including University’s RoboBlazers. 

On Wednesday, February 14, the State Senate Education Committee met to discuss House Bill 1233, which would amend the original bill to be more inclusive of all Indiana teams. Sophomore Ben Wei (’26) attended this session to testify on behalf of the RoboBlazer team and all students who have benefitted from their experiences participating in FIRST Robotics teams. Along with another student from Brownsburg, Ben provided legislators with personal insights illustrating how individuals and communities benefit from a robust robotics education and access to competition. The Senate voted unanimously, 11-0, to pass the bill. It will be reviewed a few more times before hopefully being passed by Governor Holcomb to become a new state law. This bill will help 75 schools like UHS, which are accredited by a third party, as well as community teams like those organized through the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or  4-H, to be eligible to receive funding. 

Congrats to Ben and the mentors, coaches, and members of the RoboBlazers on successfully participating in the legislative process to be stewards of the University community while helping students around the state in their quest to learn from robotics programs!