FIRST Robotics team awarded $2,000 grant from Alliant Energy

August 7, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The For Inspiration and Recognition of Sciences and Technology Robotics team at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has received a $2,000 grant from Alliant Energy.

The team consists of 20-30 members comprised of students from UW-Platteville and several area high schools. Many of the communities served have limited technical education programs. Through the emphasis on teamwork, leadership skills, and sharing of knowledge high school students have a unique opportunity to engage in activities at a time when they are making college/university and career path decisions.

“This is a natural fit for support from the Alliant Energy Foundation and we are proud to be able to support the FIRST Robotics team for several years now,” said Julie Bauer, executive director of the Alliant Energy Foundation. “Partnering with UW-Platteville on various programs is an important component of our relationship with the university and the community of Platteville.”

UW-Platteville students actively recruit members within a 30-mile radius of the university. They construct a robot in a six-week time frame using a kit of parts and other off-the-shelf or raw materials. The goal of the program is to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers and problem-solvers to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by using a fun, competitive game.

“FIRST Robotics Team #171, the Cheese Curd Herd, based at UW-Platteville, has been delighted by the gracious support of Alliant Energy through the Alliant Energy Foundation's Community Grant program, and is thankful for the continuing support of our mission to promote STEM and inspire young adults to pursue careers in engineering and technology-related fields,” said Aaron Decker, vice president and travel coordinator for the team.

“For the past several years, Alliant Energy has been among our foremost sponsors and is continuing its strong tradition of giving back to the community by awarding our team a community grant,” added Decker, a junior software engineering and mathematics major from Fond du Lac, Wis. “The financial support of sponsors like Alliant Energy is vital to the sustainability of our team.”

The team, with more than 18 years of competitive experience, is the oldest continuously-running FIRST robotics team in Wisconsin.

A majority of the funding for the team comes from the UW-Platteville Segregated University Fee Allocation Commission, which has committed to funding for the 2013 fiscal year.

The main goal of the team is to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers to pursue STEM careers. Its secondary goals include building teamwork, skills and enjoyment in the completion of the robot.

Students are encouraged to be creative, learn what will work and understand doing a job well. Additionally, the team raises awareness through several robot demonstrations in schools and parades.

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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