The Queen City Robotics Alliance (QCRA) was founded to increase participation in STEM and FIRST Robotics by more students in Charlotte.
The signature achievement of QCRA is the Zone - a 6,000 square foot warehouse space dedicated to area FIRST Robotics teams and inexpensive tech classes like Java. The Zone sustains FIRST teams that otherwise would not exist by providing meeting space and a makerspace workshop for robotics youth. Nationally, the Zone is the only collaborative FIRST Robotics space sustained entirely by teams.
YETI Robotics is an anchor team for QCRA and in 2014, YETI Robotics students decided to go global by partnering with Project 658 to host a coding camp to help the international community in Charlotte. Project 658 provides services for at-risk families in the international and refugee community of Charlotte, helping them develop sustainability. YETI has hosted the coding camp for the past two years with many students coming back for a second year.
Lia Schwinghammer accepted the award on behalf of the Queen City Robotics Alliance. She is the founder of QCRA.