Roberta Robots teaches kids how to design, construct, program and test mobile robots.
Impact in our communities
We support local nonprofits that are having a positive impact in our communities.
Bay Area Giving
Bay Area nonprofits strengthen our community, and we’re proud to back their work with grants, in-kind donations and volunteering. Through the Bay Area Challenge, we invited local nonprofits to share their best ideas for making our communities even better. We also announced $1 million to seed a corporate fund for Tipping Point Community and surprised local teachers with classroom supplies through DonorsChoose.org. In the past three years, we’ve given nearly $60 million to nonprofits located in the Bay Area, including YearUp, Friends of the Urban Forest, Peninsula Bridge, Second Harvest Food Bank and many more. We’re also big believers that all Bay Area kids deserve a great education. Grants to teams like Citizen Schools, CodeEd, Greene Scholars Program, Level Playing Field Institute and the Mountain View Whisman School District are increasing access to math and science for underserved students. And each year more than 40 local groups — from Golden Gates National Parks Conservancy to Children’s Creativity Museum to The Milo Foundation — join up with over 2,000 Google volunteers to make an impact together.
Roberta - Learning with Robots
Robots are an ideal educational tool for teaching children the basic concepts of today’s technical systems. In 2002, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems established the Roberta Initiative to give kids - especially girls in technology and science - a fun, hands-on way to design, construct, program and test mobile robots. In 2011, Google funded Fraunhofer with a multi-year grant that was used to develop a simple drag-and-drop technology in the MIT App Inventor to program and control robots using a smartphone app.
Programming Education Gathering
For the last half-century, Japan helped lead the world in consumer electronics and engineering. Yet in a recent survey, only 20% of Japanese junior high students wanted a career related to science — compared to an international average of 50% — even though Japan’s junior high school had the fifth-highest math scores in the entire world. To help bridge this gap between ability and potential, Google donated 5,000 credit-card sized Raspberry Pi computers to make it easier for kids to take the first steps towards a career in computer science. In partnership with local non-profit organization, Canvas, these Raspberry Pis will provide computer and programming education for more than 25,000 kids in Japan, while providing training sessions for teachers as well.
Bletchley Park, located a short train ride from London, played a pivotal role in computing history. During World War II, it was the site where Colossus—the world’s first electronic programmable computer—helped the military crack enemy codes, reputedly shortening the war by two years. The extraordinary achievements of Colossus and its veterans remained secret until they were declassified in the 1980s. Google donated more than $850,000 to the Bletchley Park Trust to support the restoration of this important site.
The High Line
The High Line is a public park atop a historic 1930s elevated freight railway on Manhattan's West Side that was saved from demolition through the efforts of a community nonprofit group. Snaking its way through neighborhoods that run a few short blocks from Google's New York offices, the High Line is one of the best and brightest examples of successful urban renewal in the country. To show support for both green construction and our Chelsea neighborhood, Google donated $1 million to the High Line in 2010, helping preserve the final eastern section as public open space.
Many kids in the UK lack access to computer science training that can give them fundamental skills for education and life. Our $1 million grant will provide a free Raspberry Pi, a low-cost microcomputer, to 15,000 UK kids who are enthusiastic about computer science. CoderDojo, Code Club, Computing at School, Generating Genius, Teach First and OCR will each help identify and support eligible students. OCR is also creating 15,000 teaching and learning packs to distribute alongside the Raspberry Pis. The project will provide an opportunity for thousands of young people across the UK to learn to code by increasing access to computers. The ultimate goal is to inspire the next generation of British computer scientists.
Trinity College Dublin
Students in Irish schools have limited exposure to computer science and technological learning. This has created a digital divide that limits the digital literacy of young people - especially those in disadvantaged communities. The three year Google grant will help transform computer science education in Irish schools through teacher training programs and improvements in computer science and STEM capacity. Funding will scale high-quality computer science education across Ireland's secondary schools, providing training to 1,000 teachers and sponsoring the introduction of Teach First in Ireland.