Breaking Down Barriers for Kids
At FPL, we’re working with the communities we serve to make Florida an even better place to work and raise a family. One of the ways we do this is by supporting STEM education programs like robotics. Currently, we sponsor 50 robotics teams across our services area, as well as several robotics competitions for all age levels. In addition, we offer a $20,000 scholarship to a high school student who has participated in robotics for at least two years.
“Robotics programs prepare students for exciting and well-paid jobs in the future – the employees that FPL will need,” said Pam Rauch, vice president for external affairs and economic development at FPL. “And in many cases, the programs are also breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for students who traditionally have been underserved,” she said.
An example is the experience of students at H.L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach County. We made a sizable donation to the school to help start its first Robotics Academy, an intensive three-year program that focuses on job-specific engineering skills. At the time, no student from Watkins had ever matriculated to Suncoast High School, Palm Beach County’s highly competitive and nationally recognized high school with a curriculum focused on math, science and engineering. However, since the founding of the robotics academy, Watkins students continue to enroll at Suncoast.
Among the other robotics teams we work with are: RamTech Team 59 and Agents of SA3S Team 5329 in Miami-Dade County; M3 Team 4592, SigmaC@T Team 108 and the Tech Tigers Team 1251 in Broward County; MARS Team 1523, Children of the Swamp and Tech Garage, and Royal Palm Robotics in Palm Beach County; S.M.A.S.H. FRC Team 2152 in Volusia County, S.P.A.M. FRC Team 180 in Martin County, G.E.T. S.M.A.R.T. FRC Team 3556 in Columbia County; Pink Team 233 in Brevard County and Seacrest Country Day School’s Upper School robotics team in Naples.
Additionally, we’re partnering with after-school programs like After-School All-Stars South Florida, part of the nation’s leading non-profit, after-school program, to bring robotics to undeserved middle school students in Miami, and the Police Athletic League (PAL) in Palm Beach County.
Learn more about FPL’s education programs https://www.fpl.com/community/education.html
At After-School All Stars, in Miami, opening up new horizons for traditionally underserved students.
Students in the robotics program at H.L. Watkins Middle School
Palm Beach County Police Athletic League team participates in a robotics event.
Palm Beach County’s Children of the Swamp robotics team.
Stephen Cross, right, an emerging technologies engineer with FPL, was a member of Palm Beach County’s MARS robotics team while he was in high school. Now he serves as a mentor to the MARS team.
The Tech Garage team from Palm Beach County
Broward County’s Sigma Cats robotics team
Broward’s County’s M3 robotics team
Volusia County’s SMASH robotics team.
Columbia County’s Get Smart robotics team
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