2X Match on projects inspired by the winners of the Robotics Innovation Challenge, thanks to 3M

Update 1/3/18: All funding for this opportunity has been applied to eligible projects and the match offer is no longer available. 


This summer, 3M invited teachers to submit their most innovative ideas for the Robotics Innovation Challenge.  After reviewing all eligible submissions, 3M selected 11 winning projects that embodied the goals of the Challenge: to inspire the next generation of scientists to find solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.  3M is excited to offer a 2X Match to teachers who create projects requesting the same robotics products as the winners of this Challenge, as listed below.

Here’s how to qualify:

  • Your students are K-12 (pre-K projects aren’t eligible).
  • Select one of the 11 projects below that requests resources you think will be most impactful in your own classroom.
  • Enter the campaign code ROBOTS when you create your project.
  • Request the specific resources identified below--to help you out, there are specific vendors and item numbers for key elements to each project that you can search as you shop.  You can also request other items that would complement the resources below, but you must request at least one resource below, which should be the focus of your project.
  • In your essay, describe the impact these resources will have on your  classroom and why they’re a great fit for your students.  Your essay should be unique and not copied from one of the winning projects below.
  • Keep your total project goal under $1200, including taxes, shipping, and the suggested donation to support DonorsChoose.org.
  • Select Applied Sciences as your subject.


Project title and description

Specific resource to request

Language Arts and Robots

Technology is everywhere, so why should Language Arts and STEM be separate? My class will be using a LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit and three Sphero programmable robots for literacy projects that will have them reading Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, writing for authentic audiences, and learning coding and engineering skills at the same time.

Sphero from Nasco (item number NA10294B)

Common Materials and Innovative Robots

My students will learn robotics principles by constructing Raspberry PI car kits, and learning to program them. They will not simply be handed an assembled robot to drive via remote control. Through hands-on learning, students will complete a series of progressively more difficult problems for which they must use their robot as a solution.

NICERC Raspberry Pi PLUS Kit from Nasco (item number KI04183M)

Robotics for Good

My students need robotic kits, including two different platforms that are compatible with accessories including light, touch, and even color sensors. They will learn how to build, program, and operate robots to help their community!

Robotics kits, available at Best Buy Education (item numbers BB19844059 & BB19843866), Nasco (item numbers EL14872B, EL14864B, EL14873B), and Carolina (item number 756466)

Hazmat Robotic Simulation

The project idea is inspired by the real-world situation that is currently taking place at the Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plants in Japan. How can robots be used in unique ways to solve problems? Robots are being used to identify the location of radioactive melted fuel rods so removal and cleanup of the material can be completed.

GoPro from Best Buy Education (item number BB20471220), Insignia tablet from Best Buy Education (item number BB20725833)

STEM Coders Need a Robotic Challenge to Reach New Heights!

My students need LEGO Mindstorm kits to give them opportunities to build and code real robotics as an extension to their rapidly growing abilities!

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 from Kaplan (item number 141712)

Invention, Engineering, and Robotics in Third Grade

My students need littleBits STEAM Student Sets to engage in engineering design and invention as they create electronic solutions to problems they see in the classroom.

littleBits STEAM Student Set from Best Buy Education (item number BB20619931)

Students Design Physical Robots to be Shared Digitally Across Continents

My students need all the parts to design ten maze solving programmable robots with a digital design that can be shared across continents!

Rechargeable batteries from School Specialty (item number 090259) or CDW (item number 759440), jumper wires from Frey Scientific (item number 1400717), screws from Staples Advantage (item number 2665812), tennis balls from Nasco (item number PE00445E)

Building with Master Inventor, Willy Wonka!

My students need 2 littleBits Kits to create solutions to engineering problems from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

littleBits from CDW (item number 4404654)

Lending A Helping (Robotic) Hand

Students wanted to take something they loved and make it accessible to all who come into our lab. They brainstormed and came up with the idea of using robotic arms, programming them to be voice controlled and 3D printing pieces that can hit keys or control a mouse. After some research, we decided to use OWI robotic arms, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Echo Dots, USB microphones and power banks to make our robotic arms portable and interactive.

Echo dot from Best Buy Education (item number BB20497596), OWI Robotic Arm Edge from Best Buy Education (item number BB19844198)

Robots in the Garden

This real life robotics project will connect three important areas of learning in the STEM lab; engineering, programming robots, and gardening. Students will build the robots, program the camera utilizing an online coding program and finally photograph and document the pollinators in the school garden.

Roli Rover and AdventureBot from Nasco (item numbers SB52297M and SB52296M)

Using Robots to Remove Plastics From Our Beaches and Oceans

Using the Spheros and tablets, my students will be engineers challenged to create and program a robot that cleans up plastic along the shore as well as create a robot that can be remotely controlled to pick up plastics floating in water.

Samsung Galaxy from Best Buy Education (item number BB19931589 or BB19931598), Sphero from Best Buy Education (item number BB20052647) or Nasco (item number NA10294B)


If your project meets the criteria above, you should see the match offer applied to your project as soon as it’s approved and live on the site (however, it won’t appear during Friends and Family Pre-funding). New donations will be matched one-to-one as long as funding remains.