FLINT TWP. — Two Carman- Ainsworth robotics teams were among 462 public and non-public districts statewide to receive a competitive FIRST Robotics Grant from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).
The grants were announced in a Jan. 4 memo from Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila A. Alles.
“These awards will support districts both public and nonpublic, in their pursuit to expand opportunities to improve mathematics, science and technology skills through their participation in events hosted by a science and technology development program known as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Science Olympiad.” the memo stated. “Both programs support goal two, strategy 2.6 and 2.7 by engaging students in well-rounded learning experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), language, business, culture and creativity as well as providing access to personalize learning technologies that support and enhance those learning experiences.”
The grant amounts awarded were $400 to Lil’ Peeps and $2,500 to Big Mo Megatron Oracles, Team 314).
Lil’ Peeps is a third-grade club coached by Erin Raether, who works at Rankin Elementary School. Big Mo is the high school group coached by Ellen Crain.
Lil’ Peeps will use the money to help pay the coach’s stipend and to cover the cost of registering a Jr.FLL team which is the FIRST program for ages 6.9, according to information provided by Leanne Welch, who also is a longtime robotics coach at Carman Ainsworth
Welch said both grant applications were written by Crain.
Crain could not be reached for detail on how the $2,500 grant will be spent.
C-A has students at all grade levels participating in robotics competition. Welch provided the following list of who is who.
Lil’ Peeps Grade: 3 Coach: Erin Raether Division: FIRST JrFLL
Lil’ MO Peeps Grades: 4-5 Coach: Amy Johnson Division: VEX IQ
Mo’ Peeps Grades 6-8 Coach: Leanne Welch Division: VEX EDR
Big MO Grades 9-12 Coach: Ellen Crain Division: FIRST FRC
For a complete list of MDE grant recipients see www.techplan.org/rdi