By Andy Choi
The Chrysler Foundation continues its long time commitment to furthering science, engineering and technology education as it announces recipients of 2011 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotic grants.
More than $110,000 in grants will be disbursed to 15 teams spanning 19 high schools in south eastern Michigan.
FIRST is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to inspire students in engineering and technology. Today, the FRC for high-school students has grown from 28 teams involved to over 1,300. More than 70,000 volunteers and a network of over 2,500 corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals assist students in learning to value teamwork, self-motivation, character, time-management, speed, problem-solving, and leadership skills. Since its inception, The Chrysler Foundation has awarded more than $500 million in charitable grants.
"The FIRST program brings the engineering and science fields directly to the students and is consistent with Chrysler's legacy of innovation and technology," said Scott G. Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC, and Chrysler Foundation trustee. "We are proud to assist in educating Michigan's next generation of bright and talented engineers which are vital to our industry's future."
In addition to providing funding, more than 20 Chrysler Group employees support the FIRST Robotics teams as mentors and competition coordinators.
Michigan student teams receiving 2011 FIRST Robotics grants of $7,350 each include:
- Andover High School, Bloomfield Hills
- Bishop Foley Catholic High School, Madison Heights
- Capac High School, Capac
- Chelsea High School, Chelsea
- Frederick Douglass Academy, Detroit
- Goodrich High School, Goodrich
- Grand Blanc High School, Grand Blanc
- Lake Orion High School, Orion Township
- Macomb Academy of Arts & Sciences, Armada
- Notre Dame Preparatory School, Pontiac
- Oakland Technical Center Northeast, Pontiac
- OSMTech Academy at Clarkston High School, Clarkston
- Pontiac High School, Pontiac
- Seaholm High School and Groves High School, Birmingham
- Warren Consolidated Schools (Cousino High School; Warren Mott High School; Sterling Heights High School and L'Anse Creuse High School), Warren
Each team comprises approximately 25 high school students and has six weeks to design and build a robot to perform a prescribed series of tasks. Chrysler will be providing its support and counseling to the students involved in the project.Working side-by-side with adult mentors, students learn basic physics, electrical and mechanical engineering and machining skills.
The students are required to raise funds to participate in regional, state and national events. There are 173 FIRST Robotics teams registered in Michigan alone.
Teams sponsored by The Chrysler Foundation routinely qualify for the state competitions and 11 of its sponsored teams made it to the national championship in Atlanta last year. The team from Notre Dame Preparatory in Pontiac, Mich., placed second and finished as a finalist in the Archimedes Division.