news-FIRST-Robotics2017Whirlpool Foundation Offers $15,000 Community Challenge Grant

Three area FIRST Robotics teams will compete in the FIRST Robotics World Finals next week, April 26 – 29 in St. Louis, Missouri after competing against 160 other Michigan teams in the State Championships in Grand Rapids this past weekend.

  • GreengineerZ, Berrien Springs High School
  • Average Joes, St. Joseph High School
  • Team Lance-A-Bot, Lakeshore High School

The teams now have just over a week to raise in excess of $10,000 each to cover the travel costs (buses, hotels, food, etc) and fees for the World Competition. Whirlpool Foundation is offering a Challenge Grant of up to $15,000 to match funds raised by all three teams. The intention of the Challenge Grant is to ensure that all three teams raise their needed funds so each team has agreed to share any excess grant money between them.

This is very much in keeping with “Coopertition®,” a term used through FIRST competitions. Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can. FIRST firmly believes that Coopertition produces innovation.

Students will hold various fundraisers throughout the Twin Cities. Direct donations can be made by area residents and local companies.

Whirlpool Corporation has proudly supported the FIRST Robotics program for seven years, encouraging students to pursue interests in areas of STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math. Whirlpool employees have provided thousands of volunteer hours to FIRST Robotics, other sponsorship support and tool chests for multiple rookie teams over the last three years through the Gladiator GarageWorks brand.

FIRST is an international non-profit K-12 organization that designs programs to encourage young people to pursue their interests in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) through education and career opportunities. FIRST calls its robotics program “a varsity sport for the mind” that allows students to learn from professional engineers and qualify for nearly $25 million in college scholarships.

Funds can be sent directly to local teams as follows:

Berrien Springs Public Schools
One Sylvester Ave
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
Attn: Gervea Ornopia
Checks should be made out to “Berrien Springs Public  Schools (memo: Robotics Activity Fund)”

Average Joes
St. Joseph High School
2521 Stadium Drive
St. Joseph MI 49085
Attn: Victor Vroegop
Checks should be made out to “St. Joseph Public Schools”

Team Lance-A-Bot
Lakeshore High School
5771 Cleveland Avenue, Stevensville, MI 49127
Attn: Brad Smith
Checks should be made out to “Lakeshore Public Schools”