Gear Up for “First Stronghold”
The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, today announced $250,000 in grants to FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12) and FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7-12) teams in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The grants will offset the costs associated with items such as registration fees, parts and materials and team apparel for an estimated 650 students.
“The real-world experience that students gain through their participation in FIRST programs is invaluable in preparing students for the future,” said John Nigro, Vice President – Product Development, FCA – North America. “We are equally proud of our employees who generously give their time and skills to help mentor students and serve as competition coordinators.”
The FCA Foundation’s grant announcement coincides with the official start (Jan. 9) of the 2016 FIRST Robotics design and build season. During this six-week phase, teams will build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult mentors. It’s estimated that more than 3,100 teams comprised of 78,000+ students from around the world will compete for glory in First Stronghold, this year’s design challenge. Teams that win their regional qualifiers will compete for the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome, April 27-30, in St. Louis.
Teams share a single grant
Additionally, First in Michigan was awarded a $1,600 grant to support its First Lego League program, which introduces students (grades 4-8) to the fun and excitement of science and technology; and $60,000 in grants were awarded to 12 Ontario, Canada-based FRC teams, bringing the total amount awarded by the FCA Foundation for the 2015-2016 academic year to $310,000.
“Since 1995, the FCA Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants to FIRST programs,” Slavitt added.