Robotics program gives students hands-on experience

- A robot is giving a group of teens at Metropolitan Ministries a lot to be proud of.

"We get to hands on build our own robot from start to finish," said Dominic Strong.

It's part of the First Robotics program on the Tampa campus.

"First is a K-12 STEAM education program that teaches science and technologies and robot challenges," said First Robotics Regional Director Terri Willingham.

Metropolitan Ministries wanted to provide students there with a science and technology program that other schools have, so they teamed up with First Robotics.

"It's very humbling to see the students go through the same program that I went through get the same thing that I got out of it," said Joel Croteau with First Robotics.

The students are thrilled to be part of the program. "It's awesome to have it here because we may not get a chance like this again," said Ceejay Liberatore.

Ceejay is one of the students benefitting from it. "It could help us in our futures to become what we want to be," he said.

The rookie team is not only learning, but also competing and winning.

"We won three of our six matches, with some help of some of the other teams," said education coordinator, Aaron Hoard.

Metropolitan Ministries said this program isn't just helping these future leaders, but also the community.

"There's a lot of careers and focus on attracting these types of careers here in the Tampa Bay area related to tech and science. We wanted to position kids to have an opportunity to get their careers when they leave the ministries", said Chief Programs Officer, Christine Long.

To find out how to donate to teens at Metropolitan Ministries for the holidays, go to metromin.org

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