Oregon Robotics Nonprofit Receives a Generous Grant from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation to Support Student Robotics


Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP), a statewide nonprofit, received funding from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF), a regional organization based out of Roseburg. These funds will support multiple robotics teams and tournaments in Southwest counties by reducing financial barriers for students involved in ORTOP programs; specific counties to which the funds will be allocated include Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane.

The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation is a private, independent foundation representing the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, founded in 1997. It began its philanthropic efforts in 1998 and to date, the Foundation has awarded $21,539,146 to nonprofits in the seven Southwestern Oregon counties. Earlier this year, CCUIF gave $649,930 to 61 nonprofits, the largest amount distributed in the 25 years of the Foundation’s existence. The mission of CCUIF is to offer assistance in youth education, strengthen youth and family, provide for positive youth development and add to the quality of life for people in Southwestern Oregon. In alignment with ORTOP’s values, CCUIF writes, “education doesn’t begin and end at the classroom door; many times it is the experience outside the classroom that inspires a child” (cowcreekfoundation.org).

ORTOP’s mission is to welcome, engage, educate and inspire Oregon’s youth and their diverse communities through robotics programs (ortop.org). Through the use of team-based projects and an annual challenge, students learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While working collaboratively to design and build robots, students learn and practice real-world skills such as problem solving, project management, mechanical design and programming. Students are invited to demonstrate these skills

during seasonal tournaments, where they are welcomed into an engaging community, while showcasing their successes and accomplishments. ORTOP raises $250K annually to help remove financial barriers to participation of underserved and underrepresented students.

The vision is for every Oregon student to belong and contribute to a community that celebrates STEM thinkers and makers.

ORTOP is the delivery partner in Oregon for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). FIRST was founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology (firstinspires.org/stories) FIRST builds a robotics community through accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. ORTOP collaborates with more than a thousand dedicated volunteers to bring FIRST programs to communities across Oregon.



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