Mozilla Announces $55,000 in Grants for Creative Gigabit Projects in Lafayette

From virtual reality museum exhibits to remote college courses, Mozilla is supporting ideas that leverage gigabit internet to create a more open and innovative Lafayette

Today, the nonprofit Mozilla is announcing $55,000 to support four creative, educational technology projects in the city of Lafayette.

Mozilla is partnering with local museums, universities, and nonprofits, furnishing grants between $10,000 and $15,000.

“We’re focusing on projects that leverage gigabit internet speeds — up to 250x average speeds — to make a positive impact,” says Lindsey Frost, who directs the Mozilla Community Gigabit Fund.

The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund provides funding to technologists, educators, and entrepreneurs in Lafayette and four other gigabit cities across the U.S. — Austin, TX; Chattanooga, TN; Eugene, OR; and Kansas City.

“The gigabit projects we fund are built and piloted by community members to address real challenges in education and workforce development in their cities,” Frost explains. “It’s all part of our mission to build a healthy internet that fuels a more open, equitable, and inclusive society.”

The four grantees in Lafayette are:

Coastal Erosion VR

The Lafayette Science Museum will develop “Coastal Quest,” a VR game that allows visitors to explore coastal erosion in Louisiana and select coastal defenses that slow or mitigate erosion. Led by Lafayette Science Museum.

Tiny House VR Project

Students at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy will create, design, test and demonstrate a VR walkthrough of the “Atomic Agora Tiny House.” This tiny house will be donated by Habitat for Humanity to families transitioning from shelters or displacement to permanent homes. Led by David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy.

Career readiness & 4K project

High school students will participate virtually in a college level course via a 4K video stream. The project aims to increase college awareness and attainment rates for students, and develop a potentially scalable model. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL).

Kvasir-VR

UL-Lafayette and David Thibodaux STEM academy will pilot an immersive VR field trip experience that allows educators and experts to guide and assess students through the Cleco Alternative Energy Center in Crowley, Louisiana. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL).

About the fund

The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund provides grants and on-the-ground-staff to support projects that leverage gigabit internet to create more connected, open, and innovative U.S. cities. The Fund has granted more than $800,000 to over 60 projects during its four-year history.

The Fund is run in partnership with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite.

Fund grantees can be individuals, nonprofits, and for-profits.

Fund cities are selected based on a range of criteria, including a widely deployed high-speed fiber network; a developing conversation about digital literacy, access, and innovation; a critical mass of community anchor organizations, including arts and educational groups; an evolving entrepreneurial community; and opportunities to engage K-12 school systems.

Past projects

The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund has a diverse roster of grantees. Below, learn about just one: My Brother’s Keeper Coding Maker Space, which teaches young men of color web VR in Austin, TX. View other gigabit grantees here.

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