Announcing the 2023 C3 Grantees!

June 20, 2023

Infosys Foundation USA is thrilled to announce the five recipients of this year’s CrossRoads Collaboration Catalyst (C3) Grants. Designed as seed funding for new partnerships or moonshot passion projects, these grants will support unique collaborations that emerged from discussions at CrossRoads 2023 “Decoding Your Passion for CS,” the Foundation’s thought leadership conference, held at the Infosys Phoenix Tech and Innovation Center in February. The conference brought together over 230 distinguished changemakers from local and regional government, the business community, the non-profit sector as well as K-12 and higher education institutions, who all gathered to explore innovative pathways to expand computer science education and enable digital skills within underrepresented communities.

The five organizations that will be receiving grants are committed to addressing critical challenges related to broadening access to CS and maker education. The initiatives range from developing culturally relevant AI literacy curricula for Spanish-speaking students and families, to establishing a national network and community of practice to support Black CS leaders dedicated to expanding inclusive CS learning experiences for underrepresented communities. Collectively, these grants foster new collaborations across 14 organizations and institutions, reflecting the Foundation’s mission to expand access to CS and maker education through innovative ideas with a particular emphasis on underrepresented groups and communities.

The following C3 proposals will each receive up to $30,000 to facilitate these dynamic programs and visionary initiatives. Hear directly from the grantees by watching the brief videos below.

Black CS Network
TECH CORPS will collaborate with Code Crew, Project Invent and Mosaiq to develop the Black CS Network (BCSN), which will focus on creating a community of practice for Black nonprofit leaders representing organizations that provide computer science learning experiences for predominantly underrepresented communities. This network will aim to build capacity and social capital of Black leaders who are historically under supported and under-funded.

Elementary Students Lead CS Expansion through Field Trips
Corona-Norco Unified School District’s Rondo School of Discovery will partner with CodeJoy and Infento to engage 5th and 6th grade students in learning how to use Finch codeable robots and Infento engineering and building kits. These students will then work closely with teachers to design free hands-on maker and CS-oriented field trips for other elementary school students in their community and across the district.

Culturally and Linguistically Inclusive AI Curricula
The AI Education Project (aiEDU) will work with Miami Ed Tech to create culturally relevant AI literacy curricula for Spanish speaking students and families, in Spanish. aiEDU and Miami Ed Tech will then work with bilingual educators to deliver these lessons to ELA learners in STEM Title 1 schools, with additional existing supplemental materials designed for parents and caregivers translated into Spanish.

Empowering Neurodiverse Students with Creative Coding & Accessible Design
Tech Kids Unlimited will partner with the online coding and storytelling platform Elementari to create more opportunities for neurodiverse students to participate in computer science. This will include adapting a selection of existing Elementari modules for neurodiverse learners around topics such as App Design with Social Media, Creative Coding and AI and Game Design. The Elementari website will also be assessed for its accessibility and user experience. Neurodiverse students from Tech Kids Unlimited programs will play an active role in the evaluation, design, modification, and testing of the modules and the Elementari website.

Opera Maker Lab
Opera on Tap will work with JoyLabz / MakeyMakey and the MILL Makerspace and Uplands Maker Mobile at Indiana University’s (IU) School of Education to launch Opera Maker Lab, a research and development initiative aimed at growing Opera on Tap’s existing OperaTronics program by exploring new ways to engage students in computer science and maker education through opera and more broadly, through music and the performing arts. This will include developing a music education activity kit engaging students in not only creating music but inventing their own musical instruments. Educators and students will have the opportunity to pilot the use of these kits in summer camps and programming developed by the team at Indiana University’s MILL Makerspace.