This past summer Valor participated in the National Advocacy Conference (NAC), where we advocated for the reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technology Act and proper ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) budget planning and nationwide implementation. Valor met with 4 House of Representative members, along with 2 senators (Ted Cruz, John Cornyn) and Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education. Throughout our training Valor members learned about the differences between types of budget/funding plans, how federal funding works, and the nationwide benefits of increased CTE class implementation into national curriculum plans. Our team participated as valuable assets for this conference as team members were able to use FIRST to provide proof of the benefits CTE classes/STEM programs have on an individual.
Valor participated as a member of SACOT last year, helping integrate STEM into Texas curriculum. Valor has created lasting relationships with several Texas legislators. Valor also advocated for of House Bill 395 (HB 395), which is currently pending in the state government. House Bill 395 promote the rewardment and participation of students in Career and Technology Courses (CTE). Through our work in SACOT, FRC and FTC have been officially recognized as UIL activities in Texas. Valor met with Texan Representatives and Legislators Dan Flynn, Cecil Bell Jr., and Paul Workman throughout our experiences. We helped them understand the importance of robotics becoming a UIL activity. It fosters a competitive environment while creating a platform for all teams to compete on. It also allows a wider reach of robotics and STEM, helping make robotics and STEM more accessible to all.