The Wentzville School District Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 Community Grant to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) from General Motors (GM). WSD Foundation board members were on hand at the GM Wentzville Assembly plant on October 5th, which was National Manufacturing Day, to accept the grant and disburse the first $1,500 to the 2018 State Champion WSD Robotics Team 1706, also known as the “Ratchet Rockers.”
Wentzville Assembly Plant Executive Director, Satya Veerapaneni, shared that part of GM’s mission and values is to support the community. “That’s what we see as our responsibility, and we are fulfilling that responsibility by giving it back to our community. The community gives us a lot and it is our responsibility to give it back to the community that we live in.”
“The kids that win these awards are the future of our country. As we know, everything is moving to robotics, and it’s going to take a new generation to understand the new technology,” said Glenn Kage, UAW Local 2250 President. Kage was also on hand for the presentation and expressed appreciation that the WSD Foundation opted to give the first funds to the award-winning WSD robotics team. “These kids are going to do a great job. It’s wonderful that they put forth the effort, the time, and the dedication to build an award-winning product. I couldn’t be prouder of the Wentzville School District.”
The WSD Foundation Board voted to give the first $1,500 to the WSD robotics team when it learned it was receiving the grant from GM this spring. The Ratchet Rockers Team is comprised of about 50 students from all three WSD high schools: Holt, Liberty and Timberland. They won the state championship in June, capping a highly successful season and earning the Robot of the Year award for their creation, which they call “Scorpion.”
“We are extremely grateful to GM for honoring the mission of the WSD Foundation to support students and staff in the WSD,” said WSD Foundation President Cheryl Delaporta. “STEM skills are highly sought after in the global workforce, so this support is critical to help our students prepare for those opportunities. We are thrilled to present the first part of this grant to the highly successful WSD Robotics Team.”
The Wentzville School District Foundation was established in 1999 with a vision to support public education, recognizing that teachers have the power to be catalysts for student success and that a supportive community can be an agent for positive change. So far this year, the WSD Foundation has awarded over $36,000 in student scholarships and grants for teachers who are doing innovative and inspiring work with students.