(December 17, 2018) St. Charles, MO…Francis Howell high school students on Raven Robotics Team 1288 work together to build robots to compete in an annual challenge, but one of the biggest challenges every year is securing the necessary funding.
Enter the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, which recently awarded a one-time $5,000 grant to Raven Robotics to support their FIRST Robotics activities. FIRST enables teams of students to compete with others in building, designing and programming their own robots to perform preassigned tasks, giving young students a chance to get involved with real-world engineering.
“The way the grant was set up it went directly to FIRST Robotics and is paying for some of our contest fees,” said FHHS Science and Engineering teacher Dane Williamson. “At this point, we have about 60 students in the club, and we have been building a practice robot this fall so our new members get experience. We don’t know the details of the competition yet this year except it has something to do with space. The season officially kicks off in January.”
FIRST Robotics combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. “Allowing today’s students to learn STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills through hands-on experiences is crucial to preparing our next generation to drive innovation and overcome challenges,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer. “Monsanto Fund invests in future scientists and engineers like those in Francis Howell and encourages their involvement in programs like FIRST Robotics.”
The Monsanto Fund’s sponsorship of FIRST Robotics teams continues the nonprofit’s support of programs that improve STEM education. Over the past five years, the Monsanto Fund has contributed over $40 million to STEM outreach efforts.