Falcon engineering, robotics win STEDTRAIN grant

Marty LeBlanc, (center) robotics coach and mathematics’ instructor, is awarded a $2,500 seed grant from the Science and Technology Education and Training (STEDTRAIN) Committee, a part of the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies. The grant will be used to help make the Lincoln County Robotics Program available to middle school students.

The Lincoln County Robotics Program is the recipient of a $2,500 Science and Technology Education and Training (STEDTRAIN) seed grant aimed at stimulating middle school students’ interest in science and technology.

The grant funds were awarded to Marty LeBlanc, mathematics instructor and robotics coach at Lincoln County High School, on Aug. 25.

“Our Lincoln County robotics’ teams appreciate the contributions by private and corporate donors that make the STEDTRAIN grant possible,” said Mrs. LeBlanc. “The grant award will be of great benefit to the robotics’ teams in Lincoln County.”

Currently, the program consists of five competing robotics teams, including FIRST Robotics Team #547, Falcon Engineering and Robotics, which had its rookie year in the spring of 2001; BEST Robotics Team #0806, #OneLCRobotics, rookie year fall of 2017; VEX Team #37334F, Lincoln County Robotics, rookie year fall of 2019; Skills USA-Mobile Robotics, rookie year spring 2019; and Skills USA-Urban Search and Rescue Robotics, rookie year spring 2019.

The grant funds will help make programs available to middle school students as an after-school program. Registration costs would be covered by sponsorships from local businesses, and the grant funds would be used to purchase materials, supplies, software, and robotics kits for the middle school student program.

“Students need the ability to create, design, innovate, and think critically in order to solve complex challenges,” Mrs. LeBlanc wrote in her grant proposal. “Every student should possess deep knowledge and strong skills in math, science, technology, and engineering, and should be excited and ready to use that knowledge in the real world.”



STEDTRAIN is a committee that administers a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) seed grant program that provides Type I and Type II grant funding of $250 to $1,000 and $1,500 to $2,500, respectively, to an educator for innovative hands-on classroom projects that will stimulate children’s interest in science and technology.

Since the program began in 1988, it has distributed over $601,018 for 585 individual grants and other worthy educational projects. The grants currently benefit approximately 10,000 students directly and about 20,000 indirectly a year. The committee will begin accepting proposals for the 2020-21 school year on Feb. 1, 2020. Visit stedtrain.org for more information.

The STEDTRAIN Committee is part of the Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supporting Huntsville area technical and professional societies dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering. Founded on June 17, 1969, HATS has grown from seven charter societies to the current organizations representing more than 18,000 individuals.