Covestro donates polycarbonate sheet for third consecutive year to BotsIQ competition
Pittsburgh, April 4, 2016 — With a rapidly aging workforce and prominent skills gap, now – more than ever – today’s high-tech manufacturing industry is seeking younger, skilled workers. The Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ program aims to attract, prepare and empower high school students to consider careers in the manufacturing or science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
BotsIQ is an educational, hands-on robotics competition in which high school-age students are taught to design, build and battle 15-pound robots (referred to as “bots”) in a gladiator-style competition. Reinforcing Covestro’s commitment to supporting STEM education and initiatives, as well as tomorrow’s workforce in the southwestern Pennsylvania region, the company has donated its clear Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet for use in two arenas that will be used in the 2016 competition.
The original BotsIQ arena is being refurbished with the company’s Makrolon® AR (abrasion resistant) polycarbonate sheet. Makrolon® AR polycarbonate sheet provides high abrasion resistance and surface hardness coupled with impact, strength and clarity. With this durable material, the original BotsIQ arena can withstand the wear and tear brought on by the battling bots while retaining its optical clarity.
Now in its eleventh year, the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ program continues to grow, and is expected to involve a record-breaking 1,300 high school students from 63 different schools this year. To accommodate the increased participation, a larger, second arena will also be used to stage bots competitions. The 12.5-square-foot arena features a steel floor and polycarbonate sheet walls that are connected with steel supports. Covestro donated half-inch-thick Makrolon® 15 polycarbonate sheet, which offers a combination of excellent abrasion resistance and optical clarity.
“We are proud to donate Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet to the BotsIQ program for a third consecutive year, and to support the program’s initiative to grow students’ interest in STEM careers,” said James Boehm, managing director, Polycarbonate Sheet Business, NAFTA, Covestro LLC. “Our polycarbonate sheet is an ideal choice for the arena, offering a durable, hard surface that protects against scratching and ensures spectators’ views remain clear.”
“With record participation in this year’s competition, we are so grateful to have two arenas. The competition can run more efficiently, because bouts can take place in one arena while students are setting up in the second arena,” said Phyllis Miller, chairperson, Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ planning committee. “Without Covestro's generous donation, we could not have afforded to build that second arena. The BotsIQ organization appreciates Covestro’s support of our objective to expose young people to manufacturing so that they might consider it as a career.”
Covestro’s Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet made its BotsIQ arena debut at the 2014 finals competition. The 2016 finals competition will be held April 8-9 at the California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center.
BotsIQ was brought to the Pittsburgh region in 2005 through efforts of the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling and Machining Association with support from local manufacturers, educators and workforce development organizations. High schools participating in BotsIQ are paired with a manufacturing company that serves as an industry advisor. Throughout the academic year and under the guidance of their high school teachers and industry mentors, students then work in teams to design and build their bots.
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.
Cindy Race, Phone: +1 413-528-7812
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