Encouraging STEM Talent, Consumers Energy Sponsors FIRST Robotics State Competition Investment Nurtures Next Generation of Michigan Leaders and Innovators
Helping inspire students to become interested in and pursue future high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, Consumers Energy is again sponsoring the FIRST in Michigan robotics state championship being held at Saginaw State University's Ryder Center today (4/12) through Saturday, April 15.
"At Consumers Energy we know how important STEM careers are, because this talent powers many areas of our company, and the future looks even brighter for these types of jobs. We want to help nurture students to develop their innovation, engineering, decision-making and team-building talents. Many of our recent STEM hires have prior robotics experience, so we know our support of this competition provides an excellent opportunity to inspire the next generation of Michigan leaders," said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy's president and chief executive officer.
In 2016, Consumers Energy and the Consumers Energy Foundation contributed over $200,000 to support robotics teams and programs at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state.
"Consumers Energy's support is about our mission to helping create sustainable FIRST Robotics teams at every school in Michigan. We want every interested school and student to be represented, from the largest to smallest schools, to those in rural areas and those that are under-resourced. We believe our commitment to STEM and robotics is making a difference for students, our state and company, now and in the future," Poppe said.
A total of 160 robotics teams from throughout Michigan will compete in Saginaw for a coveted spot at the FIRST Robotics world competition being held in St. Louis, MO April 26-29.
"Consumers Energy's enthusiasm and excitement around their investment in cultivating a new generation of STEM professionals has enabled FIRST in Michigan to grow at light speed," said Gail Alpert, president of FIRST in Michigan. "We could never be where we are today without their support."
Highlights of the four-day event include:
- Team competitions Wednesday-Saturday within the Ryder Center
- A Dean's List reception on Friday evening. Hosted by Consumers Energy with remarks by Poppe, where 125 robotics students will be recognized at this event named after Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST.
- A $5,000 World Class Performance from a Hometown Team Award given to the East Jackson Blue Ops robotics team by Consumers Energy. Also, two Super Team Awards sponsored by Consumers Energy in a collaborative effort to promote the Energy Industry in Michigan.
- Saturday opening ceremonies featuring remarks by Gov. Rick Snyder and Consumers Energy Senior Vice President Garrick Rochow. Other state legislators are also scheduled to visit teams throughout the day.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.