Ever wonder what happens to a corporation’s computers, monitors, and other IT equipment when the company must upgrade or change which equipment gets used? If a laptop, desktop, mouse, or monitor still works, but no longer works for its intended professional purpose, the best thing to do is to find a new user. Through our Corporate Social Responsibility program we do just that. At Power Grid Engineering (PGE), we believe not only that we can make a difference in our greater community, but that we should make a difference. One of our best forms of support is donating our gently used equipment back into the community.
Recently we donated five desktop computers and seven laptops to FIRST Robotics Team 1557 – 12 Volt Bolt and FIRST Lego League Team 41354 – The Bumble Bolts. 12 Volt Bolt is a non-profit robotics program for the Lake County, FL area to middle and high school students. They promote science, technology, and engineering throughout the community, which includes nine public high schools, as well as many private and home-school groups. Student participants using the platform of robots practice critical thinking and problem solving, learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), gain valuable leadership opportunities, and participate in local, state, and national competitions.
Our relationship with 12 Volt Bolt started in May 2018 and continues today as we enjoy seeing our materials put to good use for learning CAD, mechanical and electrical engineering, and computer programming. 12 Volt Bolt also represents the future of other valued professional areas besides robotics. They provide training in web design, marketing, accounting, public speaking, and business and project management. Gary Furman, our VP of Engineering, mentions “at PGE we value our relationships with our communities. Supporting STEM is in direct alignment with our culture and core value – Powering Our Future Through People, Process, and Passion.” The students of today are the engineers, scientists, and leaders that will power our future.
From our most recent donation, lead mentor Kevin Brunner provided us with an update of the group’s progress this year. The Bumble Bolts were crowned Grand Champions of the RoboFest competition in Port Orange, FL and were headed to the State Finals at the end of April. 12 Volt Bolt built a robot for 10-weeks, putting in over 2000 hours preparing for the Orlando Regional Competition on March 11th. The robot had passed the safety inspection and was ready for the first practice match only to be told at that moment the competition was canceled due to concerns over a rising illness called COVID-19. The team quickly packed up their supplies and headed home without competing, the first of many cancellations for these students. While in-person gatherings have been limited over the last several months, we know that 12 Volt Bolt is ready to get back to competing, and they are putting our latest donation to good use.
Since May 2018, we have donated approximately 20 computers to 12 Volt Bolt and we look forward to continuing our partnership. Lou Gabos, our Director of Information Technology, recounts “throughout our careers, many of us were mentored by leaders who shared their time, knowledge, and wisdom to help us become who we are today. Most of us can remember a few defining moments that changed our lives and it’s a tremendous privilege to give back and change the lives of others.”
To learn more about 12 Volt Bolt: