JC Penney stores have a huge new initiative to grow FIRST Robotics teams in Michigan. The Texas-based retailer is offering a $6,500 grant from each of its stores to a FIRST Robotics team.

The grant covers the registration fee in two events plus the kit of components used to build the robot. Teams receiving the grant must be within 20 miles of the JC Penney store involved.

Teams must apply through the grant through Gail Alpert of FIRST Robotics by Oct. 15. Alpert can be reached at gail.alpert@gmail.com or (248) 425-4148.

Michigan has the second largest number of teams, second only to California. Alpert said this is a perfect vehicle to up the number of teams substantially.

“This is a huge opportunity to grow FIRST throughout our state and give students everywhere an opportunity at more than $12 million in FIRST college scholarships,” Alpert said. “For schools that have hesitated to participate in the past, this is the perfect time to jump in and have an outstanding STEM program at their school for free. ”

JC Penney has 43 stores in Michigan. They’re located in Houghton, Flint, Kingsford, Fort Gratiot, Marquette, Chesterfield Township, Escanaba, Roseville, Sault Ste. Marie, Novi, Alpena, Troy, Cadillac, White Lake Township, Petoskey, Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Canton Township, Big Rapids, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Taylor, Grandville, Westland, Greenville, Battle Creek, Holland, Brighton, Muskegon, Jackson, Alma, Lansing, Bay City, Okemos, Midland, Owosso, Mt. Pleasant, Adrian, Saginaw, Benton Harbor, Sterling Heights, Portage and Burton.

Read more about the FIRST Kickoff Weekend at Kettering Univesrity at

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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