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Robots are here! Volunteers needed

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GRPS FIRST Robotics looking for volunteers

One Day Robot Battle -- Help Out!

Here’s a one-day volunteer opportunity for you to test drive: The Robo-Battle of the Minds FLL Qualifying Event will take place on December 5th at Innovation Central High School in Grand Rapids. Teams in 4th-8th grades from GRPS and across the state will compete for a chance to attend the Michigan FLL Championship in spring 2016. Robo-Battle of the Minds expects to draw nearly 400 people, which includes 26 teams, their coaches, families, friends, and spectators. There are a variety of roles for which GRPS need volunteers, and no prior experience is necessary. If you like kids, LEGOs, or robotics, you will love this event! All details and sign up at under “Get Involved.”

The FIRST Tech Team from Grand Rapids University Prep Academy

The FIRST Tech Team from Grand Rapids University Prep Academy

In Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) students are building robots, competing and winning. Robotics goes way beyond science fiction today and has become an integral part of developing strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and experiences for students.


Michigan is already the third largest state for employing people in the field of robotics with 58,000 jobs. We are preparing the next generation of high tech professionals through FIRST Robotics, a national organization committed to promoting STEM education by engaging students from elementary to high school in technology and robotics.

To ensure equitable access to opportunity for urban students, GRPS is expanding its involvement with FIRST Robotics in 2015-16. With support from lead corporate partners Steelcase and Consumers Energy, GRPS has 22 excited teams across the elementary, middle and high school levels. Most teams have less than two years of FIRST experience, and 12 schools are participating in their rookie season. In order to provide all students an impactful and rewarding experience, GRPS Robotics needs your help as a volunteer.

It’s easy to sign up, and there are opportunities for all levels of expertise and availability. School teams, which include FIRST Lego League (FLL) for elementary, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for middle school and FIRST Robotics (FRC) at high school, are in need of volunteers to work with students to design, build, and program robots which will be used to compete against other teams in regional competitions. Whether you have four hours on a weekend to help, want to mentor for a length of time, have technical or non-technical expertise, there is a volunteer role suited to your unique interest. Recruit a friend and sign-up today at under “Get Involved.”

The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) is partnering with GRPS to coordinate Robotics programming this year. For more information on volunteering or donating, you can call or email Trudy Ngo-Brown of WMCAT at (616) 454-7004 or [email protected]

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