Pioneers in Engineering

Pioneers in Engineering (PiE) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2008 at UC Berkeley with the goal of bridging the STEM education gap for underserved high school students in the Bay Area. PiE creates self-starter robotics kits and programs that aim to inspire students to pursue higher education in STEM while alleviating the social and economic barriers experienced by underrepresented first-generation, low-income, and students of color. 

Our efforts center on enabling underrepresented students, especially in lower-income areas, to learn more about STEM through mentorship and friendly competitions. The cost of entry, often exceeding $10,000 in large-scale robotics competitions, is a known barrier, and we have made it our goal to provide students who cannot afford these opportunities a way to thrive in an educational, competitive, and exciting environment. 

An overwhelming 70% of high schools we support do not offer any other robotics-related extracurricular activities, which gives PiE a greater responsibility to incorporate STEM into their education. Our project reaches an annual average of 300 students in the Bay Area, and aims to create a lasting impact on each of those students’ lives. With 1 in 3 of our students’ parents lacking a degree higher than a high school education, PiE strives to provide an encouraging environment to support them in their pursuit of higher education.

Our staff creates the competition from scratch so schools only have to pay $100. This involves designing the game, building the IDE, manufacturing electronics, constructing mechanical parts, and hosting workshops. Additionally, PiE teaches college students, with or without engineering experience, to build robots and mentor students in STEM. All this has the has a budget breakdown of the following:

Any support from you will go towards making an impact in the lives of our student participants. Many have been admitted to UC Berkeley and other top-tier universities. Former participants and staff have also given back to the organization through mentoring, leadership, and pioneering new programs within the organization, including the scholarship and alumni mentoring program. Any support would be significantly help expand our program to better support the community.

With your contribution, you are directly supporting underserved students in their pursuit of robotics and engineering, as well as encourage them to further their education in STEM.  

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    We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 47-4554504. All the contributions are tax-deductible.

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    This is going towards a great cause!

    Shen | $100

    On behalf of M. Nishijima