Students at Redwood Valley schools have found outside support as they use robots to build their skills in science and engineering.

The Monsanto Fund recently awarded a one-time $5,000 grant to Redwood Valley’s Robotics Team, Wingnuts #4741, to support its FIRST Robotics activities and encourage local students who participate in the program.

Employees from the local Monsanto site invited Redwood Valley to apply for the grant in September. Team Wingnuts #4741 will use support from the Monsanto Fund grant to participate in FIRST Robotics and its educational programs and competitions.

FIRST challenges teams of students to design, build and program their own robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors – immersing young students in real-world engineering experiences.

“It is essential that today’s students learn STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills, as they will be the next generation driving innovation and overcoming challenges through big ideas,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer. “Monsanto Fund is committed to investing in the next generation of scientists and engineers like those at Redwood Valley through hands-on education programs like FIRST Robotics.”

Monsanto Fund’s sponsorship of FIRST Robotics teams continues the non-profit’s intentional support of programs that improve STEM education. Over the past five years, the Monsanto Fund has contributed more than $40 million to STEM outreach efforts.

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work.

Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.