BELFRY, Ky. (March 26, 2018) – Belfry High School in Eastern Kentucky is the 2018 recipient of a Kentucky Power FIRST grant and a Kentucky Power education grant totaling $6,000 awarded to support its robotics team. Belfry High School received its check on Monday.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multi-national robotics competition that pairs professionals and high school students to solve an engineering problem in an intense and competitive way. The brainchild of Dean Kamen, entrepreneur and inventor of the Segway gyroscopic personal electric scooter, FIRST competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events demonstrating participants’ success in brainstorming, teamwork and meeting deadlines.
The FIRST robotics grant initiative is one of several programs sponsored by Kentucky Power and its parent company, American Electric Power, to support pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education with an emphasis on science, math and technology education and careers.
“Kentucky Power is critically aware of the need for strong science and technology education programs,” said Matthew Satterwhite, Kentucky Power’s president and chief operating officer. “We are proud to help Belfry High School and other students and school leaders in eastern Kentucky as they pursue firsthand experiences in science and technology.”
AEP and its operating companies awarded $200,000 in funding to about 100 FIRST robotics program teams across its 11-state service territory for 2018-2017. Recipients must apply to receive a grant. More information can be found at www.usfirst.org. Belfry received $5,300 from the FIRST grant program and a $700 supplemental grant from Kentucky Power to reach the allowed maximum of $6,000 for a high school robotics team.
Dr. Haridas Chandran, who coaches Belfry’s robotics team, said the team would struggle without Kentucky Power’s grants.
“It would be very hard to have a team without this assistance,” Chandran said. “Registration for the competition alone is $5,000. These students get a lot out of the competition. They learn technology, patience, problem solving. They use those skills to become engineers and doctors. They are our future.”