Mozilla Awards $115,000 to Inventors and Educators in Lafayette, LA

Mozilla is supporting people and projects that use Lafayette’s gigabit internet for good

Today, Mozilla is awarding $115,000 to community technologists in Lafayette who are leveraging gigabit internet for good.

We’re providing grants to a total of six projects being led by Lafayette Parish Public Schools, University of Louisiana, and other local organizations. Grants range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The projects are diverse: they include robotics curriculum training for elementary school teachers, programming classes for students, and a virtual reality experience that shows first-hand the devastating effects of climate change.

What all these projects have in common: they tap into Lafayette’s high-speed fiber network to improve local education and workforce opportunities.

“Each of these promising projects leverages lightning-fast internet to make a positive impact in their communities,” says Lindsey Frost Dodson, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit initiative. “This work — being led by schools and nonprofits — can create more connected, open, and innovative Lafayette.”

These grants are part of the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a partnership between Mozilla, the National Science Foundation, and U.S. Ignite. The Fund has granted more than $1.2 million to over 90 projects during its six-year history. Learn more about the Fund in the short film at the bottom of this post.

The Projects

Lafayette Gigabot Coding Initiative | Lafayette, LA This project trains elementary and middle school teachers in connected robotics and cloud-based programming. Teachers then integrate these topics into their curriculum. Led by Lafayette Parish Public Schools

Virtual Reality Ecoliteracy Curriculum | Lafayette, LA This project uses virtual reality to show students the real-world impacts of climate change and coastal erosion. It spotlights the plight of “climate refugees” — a displaced Native American tribe in coastal Louisiana. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

A Community In Motion | Lafayette, LA This project trains high school students in livestream, broadcast and 4K technology, positioning them as community journalists and storytellers. Led by Youth Literacy Foundation of Acadiana

New Hope STEM Club Gigabot Project | Lafayette, LA For this project, middle school students will receive cloud-based programming lessons from members of the Black Male Leadership project at University of Louisiana. Led by New Hope Community Development of Acadiana

Cross-Community Kvasir-VR | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project allows middle and high school students to take interactive virtual reality field trips to solar energy plants. Led by University of Louisiana at Lafayette

LOLA in Lafayette Pilot Program | Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN This project uses low latency audio visual streaming to create a cross-city learning day on Make Music Day in June 2018. The two cities will share their musical traditions. Led by Acadiana Center for the Arts

A photo from the Mozilla-funded Gigabots project
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