Robotics team gets sponsor

Published 11:10 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sponsor: The Nansemond River High School FIRST Robotics Team has begun building their robot in preparation for the FIRST Regional Competition for Virginia in April. The team recently received sponsorship from J.C. Penney and will be demonstrating at the store.

J.C. Penney is helping a group of Nansemond River High School students achieve their goals in science and technology.

For the second year, the company is sponsoring Nansemond River High School’s FIRST Robotics Team.

Nansemond River is one of 500 schools sponsored by J.C. Penney as part of an initiative to bring the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program to 1,100 communities nationally. This year J.C. Penney’s sponsorship is part of a company initiative to encourage more minority and female participation in the robotics competitions.

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FIRST was created to help young people develop their interests in science, technology, math and engineering through robotics competitions.

The Nansemond River High School team will compete April 7-9 in Richmond during the FIRST Regional Competition for Virginia. From there, if the team wins, members will have the opportunity to go on to the world competition, provided they can raise the funds.

“J.C. Penney’s sponsorship demonstrates a commitment to investing in our local youth by making participation in FIRST possible,” said Dawn Rountree, robotics club sponsor at the high school.

“Having our students involved in FIRST is not just about increasing educational opportunities in science and technology, but also instilling well-rounded life capabilities such as self-confidence, communication and leadership.”

The team has begun designing and building its robot. The school received a kit with motors, a control system, batteries, automation components and a PC. The team will work with professional mentors for the next six weeks to build the robot. Nansemond River will be judged by its ability work collaboratively to create an effective robot.

Rountree said she appreciates the support of such an established company that the students can visit and interact with.

“Having the sponsorship through J.C. Penney is a great way to link the community to the team a little more,” said Dawn Rountree.

The J.C. Penney sponsorship will provide the team with money needed for materials and will also afford give students opportunities to do robotics demonstrations at J.C. Penney, she said.