Consumers Energy Supports FIRST Robotics State Championship

RoboticsBlogEnergy and engineering equaled fun and excitement with Gov. Rick Snyder, Consumers Energy and the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan at the recent Michigan FIRST Robotics State Championship.

Company vice presidents and Michigan natives Patti Poppe and Garrick Rochow were among more than 2,000 people who attended the three-day event to watch 64 teams compete for the title at Eastern Michigan University.

Why is Consumers Energy working to support these organizations? We are empowering students to become the future science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders in Michigan. Students have the potential to succeed in engineering and other STEM fields, but sometimes the piece that is missing is excitement.

The FIRST Robotics national competition combines hands-on STEM training with the excitement of a varsity sport. Student teams work with professional engineering mentors to design and build robots that go head-to-head in two-minute arena games cheered on by screaming fans.

With the help of a $3 million grant from Gov. Snyder and sponsorships from companies like Consumers Energy:

  • Michigan added 75 new high school FIRST Robotics teams this year – more than the other 49 states put together.
  • Michigan now has 277 total registered high school teams, the most teams of any state in the U.S.
  • FIRST in Michigan and Gov. Snyder announced their new goal of 450 teams by 2017, or one team for every city in Michigan.

The Consumers Energy Women’s Engineering Network and Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan are just two of many groups helping to achieve that new goal.

Employee volunteers serve as mentors for teams throughout the year and also helped power the scouts on the robotics teams at the state championship with mobile charging stations, laptops and printers.

The Girl Scouts, with help from Consumers Energy volunteers, is hosting events around the state for troops to learn about the FIRST Robotics program and how to start their own teams.
FIRST in Michigan offers four levels of competition covering grades K-12.