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I&M is Powering the Next Opportunity with New Installment of AEP’s First Robotics Grants

October 21, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Oct. 20, 2022 – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is dedicated to fostering an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in unique and creative ways across our service territories.

I&M along with American Electric Power (AEP) is encouraging applications for competitive grants for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program. FIRST helps student teams from elementary through high school build robots and compete in local, regional and international events.

AEP’s FIRST Robotics grant initiative awards $200,000 annually across AEP’s 11-state service territory and is one of several companywide programs to support pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education with an emphasis on STEM education and careers.

“Indiana Michigan Power is critically aware of the need to support STEM initiatives and we want to help students across our territory become the next science and technology leaders,” said Mona Livingston, Community Affairs Manager with I&M. “We are proud to support the FIRST Robotics program because of how it inspires innovation, as well as fosters self-confidence, communication, and leadership in those that participate.”

Research shows students who participate in FIRST programs are 80 percent more interested in jobs that use STEM and four times more likely to pursue a career in engineering. Also, nearly one-third of girls in FIRST continue on in their education to major in engineering.

AEP grants support competition on several different levels, including robotics competitions, Tech challenges and LEGO League Challenge and LEGO League Explore. Each level supports different ages and grant allotments through the program. They are:

  • FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
    • High school age teams, with a grant allotment up to $6,000
  • FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
    • Teams grades 7-12, with a grant allotment up to $2,000
  • FIRST LEGO League Challenge (FLLC)
    • Teams grades 4-8, with a grant allotment up to $500
  • FIRST LEGO League Explore (FLLE)
    • Teams grades 2-4, with a grant allotment up to $250

More information on each of these programs can be found at firstinspires.org.


Those interested can apply online today through Jan. 27, 2023 for the latest round of grants at aep.com/AEPFIRSTGrant.

There is a limit of one grant per program, per school or organization per year. Grant awards are announced in March, 2023.

Please note that if this is your first time using the AEP on-line application, you need to click the “New applicant” link, enter a valid email address, create and enter a password, enter a federal tax ID number and begin filling out the application. Then you are ready to save for later or submit. An email confirmation with a link to your application will be sent to the email address you provided.

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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 80% of its energy delivered in 2021 was emission-free. I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 7,100 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

News releases and other information about I&M are available at IndianaMichiganPower.com

MEDIA CONTACT:                                       

Corey Ohlenkamp

Corporate Communications Rep




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