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      Cliffs gives FIRST robotics a boost

      Cliff's Natural Resources is helping local robotics programs. They've given all of the FIRST Robotics teams $500.

      The Marquette, Ishpeming, Negaunee, and Westwood High School teams gathered for the announcement at Westwood High School. With guidance from mentors and coaches, the FIRST Robotics teams help students develop technical skills in engineering, mechanics, programming and business. Teams are creating robots for the upcoming competition in February. It takes at least $5000 to pay for the equipment, fees, and travel to the competition.

      "Robotics programs are very new to the area, especially for these schools, and promoting science technology, engineering and math, that's the heart of our industry, so it's a really good fit to donate and help them out," said Jennifer Huetter of Cliffs Natural Resources.

      "We didn't have a lot of stuff, and so we had a lot of bungee cords on our robot, but I think this year, since we're getting money donated, it helps a lot 'cause we can get more items for our robot," said Robotics team member, Leah Racine.

      Teams still need help to continue funding their equipment and travel to the upcoming competition in Traverse City on February 28.