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1/16 - SACOT Creation
The STEM Advocacy Conference of Texas is officially created by FRC 2468 Team Appreciate in Austin, Texas. Advocating on a state level, SACOT gives a voice to all high school students in Texas.
10/27/16 - Founder’s Conference
SACOT's Founder’s Conference is held at the Texas State Capitol, sponsored by Representative Donna Howard. Our amazing keynote speakers included Ray Almgren, Donna Howard, John Howard, Evan Smith, and Paul Workman.
1/9/17 - VEX Sponsorship
SACOT partners with VEX through the support of Dan Mantz.
1/14/17 - Established SACOT Platform
The first SACOT platform involves three major parts: Legislative Agenda, School Board Initiative, and Corporate Connection Program. During this Texas Legislative session, SACOT supported HB 395, spread the word about UIL and FIRST Robotics, and maintained relationships with legislators.
1/21/17 - January Conference
SACOT's inaugural Annual Conference included keynote speakers Ray Almgren, Representative Paul Workman, and Representative Cecil Bell. We were honored to have Michael Blair, Representative Donna Howard, Caroline Joiner, and Tom Leonard on our panel.
1/24/17 - FIRST in Texas Sponsorship
SACOT partners with FIRST in Texas with the support of Ray Almgren. SACOT begins to have booths at FIRST competitions to increase membership.
2/5/17 - Introduction of New Executive Committee Members
SACOT begins to integrate Executive Committee members from all over Texas for greater representation of high school students.
3/17 - SACOT Reaches 500 Members
SACOT reaches a major milestone—we are halfway to our first goal of 1,000 members!
3/27/17 - First Campaign Released
SACOT’s first campaign is released, promoting HB 368. HB 368 will make it legal for people who turn 18 by the time of the actual election to vote in the primary, even if they are 17 at the time of the primary.
FRC 2468 is proud to be the original founding team of SACOT and continues to lead the way. In this last year, SACOT recruited 567 members from 83 FIRST teams from all over the state of Texas! We hosted two conferences at the Texas State Capitol, where we communicated with over 50 Texas legislators to advocate for STEM education.
In the spring of 2016, 2468 members decided to formally create an organization to advocate for STEM education in Texas called the STEM Advocacy Conference of Texas (SACOT). The inspiration for SACOT was 2468’s attendance of the National Advocacy Conference (NAC) in Washington D.C. during the 2015 and 2016 summers. There, we advocated to members of Congress for increased funding for after-school STEM programs such as FIRST. We were even able to speak to Dean Kamen, to whom we pitched the idea of SACOT. Using the feedback from Dean Kamen and the legislators, we began laying down the groundwork for the organization and our first conference.
As we developed SACOT, we realized we couldn’t do it alone. In order to create an organization that gives all high-school students in Texas a voice in STEM education, we had to recruit students from all over the state. We partnered with our “founding teams” including: FRC 118 Robonauts, FRC 148 Robowranglers, FRC 418 LASA Robotics, FRC 1477 Texas Torque, FRC 2158 AusTINcans, FRC 2881 LadyCans, FRC 3310 Blackhawks, FRC 3841 Broncbots, FRC 4335 Metallic Clouds, FTC 6299 Quad X. These teams were integrated into SACOT at the Founder’s Conference in October 2016. At this conference, we educated the founding teams about how to advocate to legislators. We recruited other FIRST teams in order to reach our ultimate goal of spreading SACOT and STEM throughout all of Texas. Our keynote speakers included Ray Almgren (Chairman of FIRST in Texas), John Howard (Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Dell), Evan Smith (CEO of Texas Tribune), and Representatives Donna Howard and Paul Workman.
After the Founder’s Conference, we recruited over 250 new members to SACOT, and invited them to our inaugural Annual Conference, sponsored by VEX and FIRST. The conference took place at the beginning of the 2017 Texas Legislative Session, allowing us to create and advocate our first SACOT Platform. The first SACOT platform involved three major parts: Legislative Agenda, School Board Initiative, and Corporate Connection Program. During this Texas Legislative session, SACOT supported HB 395, spread the word about UIL and FIRST Robotics, and maintained relationships with legislators. The January Conference included keynote speakers Ray Almgren, Representative Cecil Bell, and Representative Paul Workman. We had Michael Blair (Legislative Director for Michael Roberts), Representative Donna Howard, Caroline Joiner (Executive Director for TechNet), and Tom Leonard (Superintendent of Eanes ISD) on our panel.
Shortly after the inaugural Annual Conference, SACOT worked with FIRST in Texas to host SACOT booths at FIRST competitions in Texas. These booths were manned by SACOT members from different teams. SACOT managed to recruit over 150 members from competitions for a total of over 500 members. We reached a major milestone, halfway to our first goal of 1,000 members!
We’ve never stopped working since the creation of SACOT, even during build seasons, competitions, and summers. We continue to recruit new members and work on new campaigns. Look out for our next project, SACOT on Tour, in the Fall of 2017.