January 18, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The Chrysler Foundation continues its longtime commitment to furthering science, engineering and technology education as it announces recipients of 2011 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotic grants. More than $110,000 in grants will be disbursed to 15 teams spanning 19 high schools in Southeastern Michigan.

FIRST is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to inspire students in engineering and technology. For the past 15 years, The Chrysler Foundation has been a supporter of the program, which combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. The Chrysler Foundation has established a proud legacy of enriching the physical, educational and cultural needs of local communities in which Chrysler Group LLC conducts business.

“The FIRST program brings the engineering and science fields directly to the students and is consistent with Chrysler’s legacy of innovation and technology,” said Scott G. Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC, and Chrysler Foundation trustee. “We are proud to assist in educating Michigan’s next generation of bright and talented engineers which are vital to our industry’s future.”

In addition to providing funding, more than 20 Chrysler Group employees support the FIRST Robotics teams as mentors and competition coordinators.

Michigan student teams receiving 2011 FIRST Robotics grants of $7,350 each include: 

  • Andover High School, Bloomfield Hills
  • Bishop Foley Catholic High School, Madison Heights
  • Capac High School, Capac
  • Chelsea High School, Chelsea
  • Frederick Douglass Academy, Detroit
  • Goodrich High School, Goodrich
  • Grand Blanc High School, Grand Blanc
  • Lake Orion High School, Orion Township
  • Macomb Academy of Arts & Sciences, Armada
  • Notre Dame Preparatory School, Pontiac
  • Oakland Technical Center Northeast, Pontiac
  • OSMTech Academy at Clarkston High School, Clarkston
  • Pontiac High School, Pontiac
  • Seaholm High School and Groves High School, Birmingham
  • Warren Consolidated Schools (Cousino High School; Warren Mott High School; Sterling Heights High School and L'Anse Creuse High School), Warren

Approximately 25 high school students make up each team, which has six weeks to design and build a robot to perform a prescribed series of tasks. Working side-by-side with adult mentors, students learn basic physics, electrical and mechanical engineering and machining skills.

The students are required to raise funds to participate in regional, state and national events. There are 173 FIRST Robotics teams registered in Michigan alone.

Teams sponsored by The Chrysler Foundation routinely qualify for the state competitions and 11 of its sponsored teams made it to the national championship in Atlanta last year. The team from Notre Dame Preparatory in Pontiac, Mich., placed second and finished as a finalist in the Archimedes Division.

About FIRST
FIRST, founded in 1989, is a non-profit charity established to encourage young people, their schools and communities to get excited and inspired about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to develop an understanding of how gaining mastery over these subject areas enriches the lives of all. Today, the FRC for high-school students has grown from 28 teams involved to over 1,300. More than 70,000 volunteers and a network of over 2,500 corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals assist students in learning to value teamwork, self-motivation, character, time-management, speed, problem-solving, and leadership skills. Learn more about FIRST at www.usfirst.org.

About The Chrysler Foundation
During the past 57 years, The Chrysler Foundation has established a proud legacy of enriching the physical, educational and cultural needs of local communities in which Chrysler Group LLC conducts business. Chrysler employees also have a strong commitment to helping improve their communities by volunteering their time and talents in the places where we live and work. Since its inception, The Chrysler Foundation has awarded more than $500 million in charitable grants.