Whirlpool Foundation Offers $12,000 Community Challenge Grant

Three area FIRST Robotics teams will compete in the FIRST Robotics World Finals next week, April 22-25 in St. Louis, Missouri after competing against 99 other Michigan teams in the State Championships in Grand Rapids this past weekend.

  • Greengineerz , Berrien Springs Public Schools
  • Average Joes , St. Joseph High School
  • CW Tech Robotarians, a combined team from Coloma, Watervliet, Lake Michigan Catholic, Eau Claire, Grace Christian, Michigan Lutheran and homeschooled students

The teams now have just over a week to raise between $10,000 – $15,000 each to cover the travel costs (buses, hotels, food, etc) and fees for the World Competition. Whirlpool Foundation is offering a Challenge Grant of up to $12,000 to match funds raised by all three teams. The intention of the Challenge Grant is to ensure that all three teams raise their needed funds so each team has agreed to share any excess grant money between them.

This is very much in keeping with “Coopertition®,” a term used through FIRST competitions. Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can. FIRST firmly believes that Coopertition produces innovation.

Students will hold various fundraisers throughout the Twin Cities. (Please see below for the current list.) Donations will be made by area residents and local companies.

Whirlpool Corporation has proudly supported the FIRST Robotics program for five years, encouraging students to pursue interests in areas of STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math. Whirlpool employees have provided 1,200 volunteer hours to FIRST Robotics, other sponsorship support and tool chests for multiple rookie teams over the last two years through the Gladiator GarageWorks brand. Please join Whirlpool Corporation and the 100+ employee volunteers all the best at World Championships next week!

FIRST is an international non-profit K12 organization that designs programs to encourage young people to pursue their interests in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) through education and career opportunities. FIRST calls its robotics program “a varsity sport for the mind” that allows students to learn from professional engineers and qualify for nearly $20 million in college scholarships.

Where & When:
Funds (please put “robotics” in the memo line of checks) can be sent directly to local teams as follows:

Berrien Springs Public Schools
One Sylvester Ave.
Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103
Att: Frank Gonzalez Robotics

Average Joes
St. Joseph High School
2521 Stadium Drive
St. Joseph MI 49085
Attn: Robotics Team
*Checks should be made out to St. Joseph Public Schools.

C-W Tech Robotarians
Coloma Community Schools
300 W. St. Joseph S
Coloma, MI 49038
Att: Dale Quattrin

In addition, the C-W Tech Robotarians are holding a Soup & Baked Goods Sale at the AYSO Soccer Fields on Maiden Lane in St. Joe this Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. And they’re holding a car wash 12-4 pm on Sunday at First Congregational Coloma UCC at 182 S Church Street in Coloma.