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Mr. Balke from Detroit MI is requesting Lab Equipment through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Tenacious Technicians Riveting Robots

My students need the ability to quickly and accurately assemble robot structures for FIRST robotics competitions using the VEXPro line of structure materials.

  • $2,262 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

We are an examination high school in a large urban district, where 52% of our student population qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunch. Students rise to the additional rigor and challenge we provide, and blossom in the enhanced learning environment. The entire district qualifies under Title 1 for federal assistance. Our total population of 2539 students is comprised of 84% Black or African American, 10% Asian, 5% Hispanic or Latino, 1% White and 0.5% Arabic.

Despite the high poverty rate and challenges of their socioeconomic status, the students are spirited, eager to learn and welcome challenges.

They are inquisitive and embrace opportunities that they perceive are relevant to later success in life. We strive to provide them with rigorous and relevant instruction in the core classes and offer extracurricular activities to excite and engage their creative instincts.

We are an established high School FIRST (FRC) Robotics Team 2673, the Tenacious Technicians. The entire engineering design process is student directed, from design through construction to implementation. No adult touches any component of the robot, and nothing gets done unless a student accomplishes it.

My Project

For the past eight years, student engineers at our high school have been employing the engineering design process to construct robots for competitions through the FIRST robotics program. The emphasis is on student engineering, with adults providing guidance but the students researching, designing, constructing, and competing with their finished product. They work in an engineering hub with 19 other teams from inner city Detroit. The atmosphere is dynamic, with the teams sharing design ideas and resources.

Students involved in the FIRST robotics program have gone on to obtain engineering degrees and pursue technical careers, providing for their families and contributing to society.

The experience has allowed them to experience failure and success; to learn from their mistakes without assigning blame and to arrive at a better, working solution.

The student engineers use a VEXPro building system that allows great flexibility in constructing the robot structure, allowing them more opportunity to concentrate their imagination on designing the apparatus that they will use to successfully compete in this year's game. The rivet guns are to be shared among the 19 inner-city Detroit FIRST teams at the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ). The facility enhances the opportunity for students from different high schools to interact, promotes camaraderie, "coopertition," and above all Gracious Professionalism.

Mr. Balke
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latino, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

This project will reach 100 students.

5 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Cordless tool for blind rivets • McMaster-Carr $928.21 2 $1,856.42

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


Sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


5 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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