Sixth Annual FIRST Robotics Challenge Kicks-Off With Cash

The sixth annual kick-off of the FIRST Robotics competition in Windsor-Essex is coming with some cash.

St. Clair college and the University of Windsor announced $20,000 donations Saturday — $1,000 for each team in the area.

Chair of Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Larry Koscielski says the skills learned as part of the competition are in demand from employers across the region and beyond.

"It's just been a wonderful collaboration where we've broken down those walls between different institutions and really work well together to support a great cause," according to Koscielski, who says resources and facilities provided by St. Clair College and UWindsor have been a huge boost.

He tells CTV Windsor he's yet to hear about a FIRST Robotics graduate that had trouble getting a post-secondary education.

"There's so much of a tie to what we do at FIRST Robotics to what all employers need in the workplace and the college and university see that," he says.

Financial support is crucial with roughly 1,400 kids taking part in the program across the region, according to Koscielski.

"It's awesome. It is just awesome because it is a big morale booster to get the start for the year and fundraising is a big part of it. It's an expensive program so the kids are always after sponsorship," he says.

Scholarships of up to $4,000 for FIRST Robotics graduates are also being offered by the University of Windsor.

The competition kicks off at the St. Denis Centre at the end of March.


— With files from AM800's Ricardo Veneza