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AT&T gives $50K to UWF BEST Robotics Hub

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Press Release: Continuing its dedication to the University of West Florida and BEST Robotics, AT&T presented a $50,000 contribution to support the Emerald Coast BEST Robotics hub at the University of West Florida today at the School of Science and Engineering. The program hosts an annual robotics competition for local middle and high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

“The STEM disciplines are at the heart of our business and we understand how essential they are becoming to every business and the growth of our economy,” said Ray Walker, Regional Director, AT&T Florida. “We are committed to helping students succeed and are excited to partner with the Emerald Coast BEST Robotics hub at the University of West Florida to help students develop more skills to enjoy productive and rewarding careers.”

The Emerald Coast hub, which serves the Northwest Florida area, is housed in the UWF School of Science and Engineering. The program relies on corporate and individual sponsorships for funding. The participating students and schools pay no fees, and the hubs provide the material kits to build the robots for the competition.

“We are extremely grateful to AT&T for their generous contribution and the opportunities it will provide for area students,” said Dr. Leo Ter Haar, director of the UWF School of Science and Engineering. “STEM activities with our K-12 partners continue to be an important part of the school’s outreach activities.”

A portion of the funds will go toward awareness events and training workshops to increase the community’s understanding of the robotics field and attract new teachers, mentors and volunteers to help grow the program.

The UWF Emerald Coast BEST Robotics hub is sponsored by BEST Inc., a non-profit, volunteer-based organization. The organization’s mission is to inspire middle and high school students to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology through participation in an annual sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics competition.