Mozilla Awards $90,000 to Inventors and Educators in Eugene, OR

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

Today, Mozilla is awarding $90,000 to community technologists in Eugene who are leveraging gigabit internet for good.

We’re providing grants to a total of five projects being led by Eugene Public Library, Lane Arts Council, and other local organizations. Grants range from $15,000 to $23,500.

The projects are diverse: they include video game development training for teachers in low-income schools; virtual reality training that helps educators eliminate unconscious biases; and a program that empowers students as environmental watchdogs.

What all these projects have in common: they tap into Eugene’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 libraries, nonprofits, and for-profits — can create a more connected, open, and innovative Eugene.”

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

Giga-Scapes | Eugene, OR Using internet-connected board games, this project allows people hundreds of miles apart to play together. It also features STEM workshops for local students, taught by game-industry experts. Led by Tech Tone Graphix

Gigabit Residencies | Eugene, OR This project provides virtual reality and video game development training to teachers at low-income schools. Led by Lane Arts Council

Real Time Wetland Restoration Mapping and Analysis | Eugene, OR This project empowers at-risk students as environmental watchdogs — teens will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to track land restoration initiatives. Led by Bethel Education Foundation

Educational Equity VR | Eugene, OR This projects uses virtual reality training to help eliminate teachers’ unconscious biases — and, as a result, mitigate disproportionate suspensions and expulsions for minority students. Led by Treadwell Ventures LLC

Opening Access to Virtual Worlds | Eugene, OR This project provides training in the fields of virtual reality and video game development for community members. Led by Eugene Public Library

A photo from the Mozilla-funded Gigabots project