Lockheed Martin grants community robotics team $5,000 to build robot for next competition

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A local robotics team scored 8th place in a world robotics competition and defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin recognized this as a win for STEM education.

Lockheed Martin granted the Browncoats FTC Robotics team $5,000 at the SMD Symposium at the VBC on Wednesday. The team recently competed in the world championship for the First Tech Robotics Challenge in Houston and finished 8th out of 88 teams.

"It is such a huge deal for us because as a community team we don't always have access to funds that schools do," said Browncoats team member Megan Holbrook.

Every year teams participating in the robotics program are given the challenge to create a robot that can perform a specific task.

"Our goal this year was to pick up cubes and balls and to score them into a central goal," Holbrook explained.

The team plans on using the grant money to register for the next season of competition and fund new robot parts.

"What we wanted to do was hopefully help this program along a bit, and provide a little more money so they can go and next time take first place!" said Jim Rogers with Lockheed Martin Government Affairs.

Lockheed Martin officials said supporting programs like this is their way of investing in the future.

"We're trying to build a bench from the youngest and build them up to be the next Von Brauns!" Rogers explained. "Hopefully someday to work in the engineering or math or technology field that's going to take us to the moon next and then to Mars."

September 7th is when this team will find out what their challenge is for the next competition-- and they plan on getting to work right away.

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