Robotics teams from Allendale, Grand Rapids and Grandville will join 10 other middle and high school robotics teams from Michigan and travel to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete in a regional robotics challenge.

The event is co-sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation and 11 energy companies.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is for 7th through 12th graders and is part of a new "Get Into Energy, Get Into STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) campaign. The competition will be March 26-28.

The 13 teams from Michigan advancing to the regional competition are: Kalamazoo County 4-H, Allendale Middle School, Bedford Junior High School of Temperance, Bloomfield Hills Middle School, Code Red Robotics of Grandville, Community Middle School of Wixom, East Middle School of Canton, Enigna Robotics of Grand Rapids, Goodrich Area Schools, Lapeer Rolland Warner Middle School, Lapeer Zemmer Middle Schools, Marysville Middle School and Novi Middle School.

"The DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to partner with CEWD (Center for Energy Workforce Development) to encourage our young people to pursue the type of rewarding, well-paying jobs that will drive Michigan's economic progress," said Shawn Patterson, vice president of organizational effectiveness and chief learning officer for DTE Energy.

The FIRST Tech Challenge started with 600 teams nationwide – including 50 from Michigan – and will culminate with the national competition, April 22-25 in St. Louis, Missouri.

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