Mozilla Awards $241,000 to Explore the Intersection of Gigabit Technology and Civics, Robotics, Farming, and More

Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund will support 19 grantees across Austin, Chattanooga and Kansas City
Mozilla is pleased to announce the nineteen grant award recipients in Austin, Kansas City and Chattanooga that will receive support from the Gigabit Community Fund. Grantees across the three cities will receive a total of $241,000 for a 16-week pilot period beginning January 30. The Gigabit Community Fund, a collaboration with National Science Foundation and US Ignite, is investing in projects that utilize gigabit technology to impact learning.
Grantees will utilize the awarded funds to build, pilot, and scale gigabit-enabled applications and associated curricula that have immediate, measurable effect on classrooms and informal learning organizations. Through these projects, Austin, Chattanooga and Kansas City will continue to study how these next-generation networks can impact education and workforce development.
Cultivating Local Networks of Gigabit Innovators
Grantees of the Gigabit Community Fund this round include technologists, educators, advocates, and even farmers! Each brings a new perspective to shape the future of gigabit technology and of Mozilla’s global network of leaders working together to advance a healthy internet. To share and learn from these different points of view, the local grantee cohort will participate in regular meetups to share their planning, progress, lessons learned, and best practices.
Grantees include:
Cross-city (Austin + Kansas City)

The Gigabots Cross City Connected Robotics — Big Bang
The Gigabots bring real-time internet connectivity to educational robotics platforms between schools in Kansas City and Austin, TX.


Accelerate, Augmented Reality for Workforce Training — Austin Free-Net
Accelerate, Augmented Reality for Workforce Training will leverage gigabit connectivity to design an augmented reality tool that supports entry-level IT learning for adults.
Digital Mock City Council — Austin Monitor
An online, open-source, digital budget debate platform and curriculum designed for middle and high school students to explore civic challenges and priorities.
Gigabit Girls – Austin Public Housing — Latinitas
This VR introductory course will be taught to girls engaged with Latinitas programming and living in Austin Public Housing. The project will also include recruitment of VR professionals to support the program and bridge the century long divide between Austin’s downtown business district and East Austin’s housing projects.
Gigabit VR: MBK Coding WebVR Scenes — Changing Expectations
To foster an inclusive computing culture, Changing Expectations will add WebVR coding projects to the My Brother’s Keeper Coding Makerspace to prepare boys of color for the VR workforce. The MBK students will learn to code WebVR scenes based on their ethnically diverse interests and perspectives and share through mini-workshops with younger youth and their parents visiting the Carver Museum.
Virtual Reality STEM Lessons — University of Texas UTeach Outreach
UTeach will design robust, validated, lessons for gigabit-connected middle school classrooms that support Google Expeditions and Unity game design software to create virtual reality experiences that increase students’ interest in computer science and engineering fields.
World Explorer Virtual Exchange — PenPal Schools
PenPal Schools connects students worldwide through online courses to learn about global challenges while practicing essential technology skills. PenPal Schools will extend their digital content with 360 4K video in a pilot cultural exchange experience linking PenPals in Austin with international locations.


Eduity — Eduity, LLC
The Community Technology Leadership Program takes the technology leadership program model from the corporate setting to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make greater use of ultra-fast networks and build the technology workforce.
Giving Garden Technology Lab Project — Catoosa County Public School System
The Giving Garden Tech Lab project allows students to experience Life Science in a new, interactive way utilizing innovative technology, like virtual reality and 4K streaming.
Global Kids Chattanooga Haunts — Global Kids
Haunts is a STEM program for youth ages 14-18 that supports historical-based community exploration through geo-locative game development.
Input Genies — Studio MindStride
Input Genies teaches youth how to code or build tools for other youth, who cannot easily use a keyboard or mouse.
LOLA in the Classroom — The Enterprise Center
Hamilton County Department of Education, the Enterprise Center and the Public Education Foundation are using LOw LAtency technology to expand access to arts education across the city of Chattanooga, and beyond.
Next Generation Professional Learning — Hamilton County Department of Education
This project creates a collaborative lab for teacher professional learning by harnessing the gigabit network, utilizing multiple telepresence robots and leveraging the experience across Hamilton County Department of Education schools (and eventually beyond Chattanooga).
ViatoR VR — ViatoR, LLC
ViatoR utilizes VR to submerge users in an immersive environment for an interactive, engaging language learning experience.

Kansas City

CERN+KC Gigabit Challenge — ElevateEDU
A project that leverages citizen science, volunteer computing, and gigabit connectivity to create project based learning opportunities for students to participate in research taking place at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Housing Smart Cities — University of Kansas, School of Architecture, Design & Planning
Students and professors at the University of Kansas are leading a project looking to deploy Population Health strategies in smart cities through the design of smart, sustainable, and affordable prefabricated housing.
Immersive VR for Local and Remote Medical and Anatomical Education — Trinity Animation
Trinity Animation will use high realism medical VR for anatomical education, both local on HTC VIVE and remote via gigabit monitoring.
Urban Farming Guys Smart Greenhouse — The Urban Farming Guys
Urban Farming Guys IoT Smart Greenhouse and aquaponics will benefit the local community via food production and education through an open source community.
Virtual Realities in Culture: Explorations of the African Diaspora — V Form Alliance
V Form Alliance will work with students to create virtual field trips to landmarks in KS and MO that are important to black history.

How to get involved:

– Join the Mozilla Leadership Network, coming soon
– Attend the US Ignite Smart Cities Summit in Austin, TX June 26-28 to see demonstrations of several of these applications
– Attend our 2017 Education Innovation Showcase co-hosted with EdTech Austin to learn how you can collaborate or submit to our next round of funding

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