Guest Blog: Rosanna Kallio, Consumers Energy Senior Engineer, Mentors Michigan Students at 2015 Robotics Fair

Rosanna Kallio, Senior Engineer at Consumers Energy
Rosanna Kallio, Senior Engineer at Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy sponsored the 2015 CE Robotics Fair in support of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program. The fair attracted about 200 attendees to cheer on teams and support the initiative including:

  • 9 Schools
  • 14 teams
  • 140 students
  • Consumers Energy employees, vice presidents and volunteers
  • Michigan media
  • FIRST employees
  • Michigan government leaders

Every year, the robotics fair is organized by Consumers Energy’s WEN (Women in Engineering Network) to bring in new mentors from Consumers Energy to help FIRST FTC student teams compete. Mentoring robotics teams is very rewarding for the mentor—you get a real sense of satisfaction in helping a team learn and grow.

The event demonstrates the importance of robotics programs for the future of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. It’s also a great opportunity for the teams to show off what they have accomplished during the past year.

The 14 teams who attended the 2015 Robotics Fair consisted of:

  • 11 FIRST FTC (First Tech Challenge) teams that compete at the Middle School level
  • 1 FIRST FRC (First Robotics Competition) team that competes at the High School level
  • 1 FIRST FLL (First Lego League) team that competes at the Elementary School level
  • 1 Robofest team that competes at both Middle and High School levels

Bringing Michigan Students of STEM Together

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During the robotics fair, the FTC teams rotated through four activities:

1. Presenting to a small panel of judges as they competed for three awards including:

  • Best Presentation
  • Most Creative
  • Most Complete Design

2. Showing off their robots on the FTC practice field

3. Collaborating with Consumers Energy employees and other teams

4. Enjoying a networking lunch

The practice field was a new addition this year and the robotics teams really enjoyed it. Each year our teams get more and more innovative, and the progress they have made is just amazing.

I believe kids need to see that they can make a difference in the world. Our children are our future, and any help we can offer to make that future better is important.

Check out how Consumers Energy supports robotics in Michigan

Rosanna Kallio is a Senior Engineer II at Consumers Energy. She is a co-lead for the First Tech Challenge (FTC) program sponsored by Consumers Energy and Women’s Engineering Network. Kallio assists in the mentoring process for all of the local FTC teams. She also supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education with the Society of Women Engineers, Michigan Technological University and by teaching a local STEM class to Jackson area homeschoolers. She is a graduate of Michigan Technological University and enjoys working with children.