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FCA Foundation Energizes Michigan Robotics Teams With More Than $226,000 in Grants

Grants enable 57 teams, nearly 1,300 middle and high school students, to participate in STEM-building robotics programs
FIRST in Michigan awarded grant to support First Lego League program

January 7, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, today awarded more than $226,000 in grants to 57 Michigan robotics teams and programs. The grants, ranging from $400 to $4,725, will help 1,300 middle and high school students offset the costs, i.e. registration fees, parts and materials and team apparel associated with competing in STEM-building FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) programs. FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

“The long-standing commitment and engagement FCA US has with FIRST is embodied by the dedication of our employees who give generously of their time and skills to help mentor students and serve as competition coordinators,” said Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement, FCA US LLC and CEO of the FCA Foundation. “It is a continuing privilege to ensure their hard work and steadfast contributions support and further positive outcomes for youth in our communities.”

FCA US employs more than 35,000 people in the state of Michigan.

Under strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit, FRC teams (25+ members, grades 9-12) are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, build, and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult game against like-minded competitors. Similarly, FTC teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge.

Details of the 2017 FRC season challenge, FIRST® STEAMWORKSSM, will be revealed on Saturday, January 7, 2017, 10:30 a.m. EST – the official start of the design and build season. Teams that attend "local" kickoff events will have the opportunity to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kickoff Kit from the Kit of Parts and get geared up for the exciting competition season.

Both the FRC and FTC programs will conclude their respective seasons with FIRST Championships in April.

“The real-world experience that students gain through their participation in FIRST programs is invaluable in preparing students for the future,” said Phil Jansen, Head of Product Development, FCA – North America. “We are proud to partner with an organization that taps into such formidable minds and encourages deeper levels of ingenuity.”

The FCA Foundation also awarded First in Michigan, the state's robotics association, a $1,500 grant to support its First Lego League (FLL) program. FLL teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8) research a real-world problem, such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution using LEGO MINDSTORMS®.

Michigan: FIRST Robotics Competition Teams awarded a $4,725 grant from the FCA Foundation:

School(s) Team No. Team Name
Almont High School 4961 Shock and Awe-sum
Avondale High School (Auburn Hills) 3538 RoboJackets
Berkley High School & Hazel Park & Shrine Catholic HS 247 Da Bears
Birmingham Seaholm & Birmingham Groves HS 2960 Maple Machine
Bishop Foley Catholic High School (Madison Heights) 910 Foley Freeze
Bloomfield Hills High School 2834 Bionic Black Hawks
Brandon High School & Holly High School 68 Truck Town Thunder
Capac Community Schools 2604 Metal and Soul
Cardinal Mooney Catholic (Marine City) 4779 RoboSapiens
Carman-Ainsworth High School (Flint) 314 The Megatron Oracles
Central High School (Grand Rapids) 904 D Cubed
Detroit Catholic Central High School (Novi) 5907 CC Shambots
Dundee High School 4395 Dundee ViBots
Ferndale High School 1025 IMPIS
Genesee Robotics Area Youth Team 1322 GRAYT
*Goodrich High School 70, 494 More Martians / Martians
Grand Blanc High School 2337 EngiNERDs
Gross Ile High School 5498 Wired Devils
Hartland High School 3536 Electro Eagles
Imlay City High School 5048 Spartronics
International Academy East (Troy) 4384 Benzene Bots
Lake Orion High School 302 Dragons
Lapeer County Ed-Tech 3535 Galaktech Invaders
Linden High School 3568 Robo Eagles
Livonia Public Schools 2832 The Livonia Warriors
Macomb Academy of Arts and Sciences (Armada) 1718 Fighting PI
Mercy High School (Farmington Hills) 1481 The Riveters
Notre Dame Preparatory (Auburn Hills) 33 Killer Bees
Oakland Tech Northeast (Pontiac) 1 Juggernauts
OSMTech Academy at Clarkston High School 27 Team RUSH
Our Lady of the Lakes (Waterford) 5053 Lakers
Oxford Community Schools 2137 TORC
Pontiac Academy for Excellence 6117 Team Eagle
Pontiac High School 51 Wings of Fire
Rochester Adams & Stoney Creek High Schools 245 Adambots
Rochester High School 201 The Feds
Skyline High School (Ann Arbor) 3322 Eagle Imperium
South Lake High School (St. Clair Shores) 5214 Cavbots
South Lyon Community Schools & South Lyon Robotics 3641 Flying Toasters
Southeastern High School of Technology (Detroit) 4851 Jungaleers
St. Clair High School 5843 Flurb
Stevenson, Henry Ford II & Utica High Schools
(Sterling Hgts.) 2851 Crevolution
Stoney Creek High School (Rochester Hills) 5436 CyberCats
Trenton High School 5090 Torque-Nados
Walled Lake Schools 308 The Monsters
Warren Consolidated Schools 818 Steel Armadillos
Waterford Kettering High School 3098 The Captains

Michigan: FIRST Tech Challenge teams awarded a $400 grant from the FCA Foundation:

School(s) Team No. Team Name
Bloomfield Hills Middle School 8593 No Limits
Goodrich Middle School 5289 Martians
Home Middle School (Fenton) 5954 Lightning Boltz
Linden Middle School 7031 Roboeaglets
*North Branch Middle School 7065, 7066, 7067 NBMS
Our Lady of the Lakes (Waterford) 7583 Lakers
Oxford Middle School & Oxford Area Middle School 5291 TOWR

* Teams will share a grant.

About the FCA Foundation
The FCA Foundation is committed to rebalancing inequalities to promote the full realization of every human being. We seek to support outcomes in our communities that ensure people can enjoy equality and dignity. The FCA Foundation directs its resources toward the following areas of focus:

Youth Development – helping young people develop the leadership qualities and resiliency necessary to succeed in school, at work, and in life.
Education – building the skills and competencies that lead to achievement and support educational access and success.
Military/Veterans – ensuring veterans successfully transition to civilian life and that the needs of military service members and their families are supported.
Service – leveraging the talents and contributions of all members of the community.

Note: Applications for funding are accepted by invitation only.
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