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Thanks in part to the support of Rockwell Automation, more than 300 Milwaukee students have access to new robots, drones, and other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) tools at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) this summer.

According to an announcement, Rockwell donated $40,000 to strengthen summer STEM programming for young people at MSOE.

The gift was used to update equipment, including Lego robots, “AI in a box” toolkits, and indoor-safe drones in addition to operational and student scholarship support.

Isaiah Brown, 12, took part in a drone obstacle course program at the MSOE STEM Center.

“I’ve never played with drones before,” Brown said. “The most exciting part has been learning how to code and seeing the drones fly.”

Brown was one of eight students who attended the program through ALIVE, a Milwaukee-area nonprofit dedicated to helping youth gain independence and exposure to vocational opportunities.

The students received one-on-one training from MSOE professors and undergraduate volunteers who taught them to code, fly and steer drones through a complex indoor obstacle course.

“I was excited to learn to code,” said 14-year-old Raechel Brown, Isaiah’s older sister. “It was cool–and kind of hard to do this–but I can see how this can help to create a career path someday.”

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