The FirstEnergy Foundation has donated $2,500 to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Foundation, Inc., to help area students build robots through the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ Program, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program. This marks the second year the program has received support from the FirstEnergy Foundation.
The BotsIQ Program brings grade and middle school students together with engineers, educators and machinists from the area who mentor and assist them as they build a 15-lb. Bot (robot) that will take part in a gladiator-style competition. The fun learning opportunity also is designed to expose students to applied mathematical and mechanical concepts to help encourage them to decide on a career in a STEM field.
The program is administered by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing the cause of future workforce needs in the manufacturing industries.
"The BotsIQ Program is a great way for young people to learn that a career in a STEM field can be rewarding," said Dee Lowery, president of the FirstEnergy Foundation. "FirstEnergy employs thousands of engineers across six states, and as its workforce ages, the quality of its future workforce becomes more important. Our hope is to interest kids in STEM careers at an early age so they can evolve into FirstEnergy's engineers of tomorrow."
"We couldn't provide this experience for 1,000 students each year without the generous support of sponsors like the FirstEnergy Foundation," said Edward Sikora, Jr., executive director of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Foundation. "If we can spark interest in a career in manufacturing at a young age, we have the best possible chance to develop the workforce of tomorrow to handle the economic challenges we're facing."
The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. and provides support to non-profit, tax-exempt health and human services agencies; educational organizations; cultural and arts programs and institutions; and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.