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DTE & FIRST Robotics

At DTE Energy, we aspire to be a force for growth in the communities where we live and serve – and we recognize the importance of STEM education in helping our future leaders reach their full potential. That’s why we’re proud to invest our time and resources in FIRST Robotics, which teaches important life skills, and instills confidence and leadership that help our youth – and communities – thrive.

Investing in Our Future

Our partnership with FIRST helps prepare young people for a variety of rewarding career paths, including engineering, programming, IT, business and marketing, among others. Through the teamwork, creativity and problem-solving students learn during their FIRST experiences, they gain skills and perspective we look for in our company’s future leaders. In fact, we recruit many of our student interns from the FIRST teams we sponsor, and we’ll continue to leverage the unique talents of these individuals to help us create Michigan’s clean energy future.

Supporting Young Talent Across Michigan

The DTE Foundation sponsors high school and middle school FIRST teams throughout Michigan – from Monroe to Muskegon to Munising.  DTE has supported FIRST for over 10 years through sponsorship, mentorship and volunteerism.

Learn more about DTE’s commitment to FIRST Robotics:

2019 DTE FIRST Documentary

DTE FIRST Robotics on YouTube

Through FIRST I…

gained a strong sense of community mobilization. Learn more about how DTE’s Anthony Watson gives back to his community here and abroad.

Employees mentor and volunteer not only to impart their knowledge to students, but because DTE is home to a culture of service that extends far beyond our work locations. Learn more about how employees and teams give back through FIRST.

How a DTE-sponsored team gives back during Covid

How a DTE employee who is a FIRST alum gives back

Frequently Asked Questions

What levels of FIRST does DTE sponsor and how?

At this time the DTE Foundation grant is awarded to FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) levels.

The DTE grant provides direct financial sponsorship to teams in FRC and FTC. We also provide a portion of funding to up to 130 FTC rookie teams via the start-up grant.

DTE employees and retirees offer their time and expertise to FIRST teams on all levels.

Employees who volunteer their time as a mentor with a team or volunteer at an event and meet application criteria may apply for separate funding from DTE through a McCarthy grant.

How are teams selected for sponsorship?

Team responses to survey questions and publicly available demographic data are compared against criteria as defined by our Force for Growth initiative.

Overview of selection criteria:

  • economically disadvantaged,
  • at risk,
  • underserved,
  • disabilities,
  • largely minority,
  • from an urban or rural setting, and
  • within a Michigan DTE service area

Sponsorship will not be awarded/denied solely on the team’s demographics

May I apply directly to the DTE Foundation for financial support?

The DTE Foundation does not award funding to individual teams. The DTE Foundation grant is awarded to FIRST in Michigan and funds are distributed to teams and events as determined by the DTE Workforce Development team.

Does DTE sponsor other robotics programs such as VEX Robotics, RoboOnes, B.E.S.T, or similar teams?

Other robotics programs may choose to apply for a DTE Foundation grant; the DTE Foundation does not sponsor individual teams directly from any program. Selection criteria for programs by the DTE Foundation is not the same as FIRST team or event selection criteria and should not be confused with statements made here.

Does DTE have internships or co-op positions for FIRST students?

DTE has student internship and co-op positions across Michigan for high school and college students. Each program has its own selection criteria.

Student programs are posted at careers.dteenergy.com on the Student and Graduate page. We recommend setting up an alert for new position postings.

DTE’s Workforce Development routinely recruits for summer internships from our FIRST sponsored teams.

Map of Support

In 2021, the DTE Foundation is sponsoring 25 FRC teams and 20 FTC teams across Michigan, plus events TBD.