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July 2014

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Cooney robotics mentor a star through Time Warner

Vote for Laurie Vertz to win $10,000 grant

Oconomowoc High School robotics mentor Laurie Vertz is the finalist from Wisconsin for Time Warner's Super Connector Search contest according to information released from the company Tuesday.

Vertz will star in her own public service announcement for Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), Time Warner Cable’s five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to inspire kids to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

TWC will also donate $5,000 to the Oconomowoc School District For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, (FIRST) programs, including high school Robotics teams, LEGO Robotics and Jr. LEGO League teams at both the intermediate and elementary schools.

In October, TWC launched its Super Connector Search contest, asking its customers to share how they’ve connected young people to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math.

“We’re very excited to name Laurie as the official Time Warner Cable Super Connector from Wisconsin,” said Tom Adams, Time Warner Cable regional vice-president operations, Wisconsin. “Customers like Laurie are introducing young people to STEM experiences that are inspiring them to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. We are happy to recognize this commitment with a grant to the Oconomowoc School District Robotics programs, a valuable resource in our community.”

Vertz has been a member of FIRST for 11 years. Over these years she has worked with the Oconomowoc High School Robotics team as a mentor for fundraising, travel and robot construction. She has also helped start 14 VEX robotics teams, for 100 students, within the district’s two intermediate schools, three LEGO Robotics teams and five Jr. LEGO teams at elementary schools. Two years ago, Laurie went to every second grade class in the Oconomowoc School District with engineering coloring books made by the high school Robotics team to discuss what an engineer does in his/her career.

“I believe it is so important to introduce young students to the idea of STEM occupations so that they consider the possibilities,” said Vertz. “With this grant, I can purchase some new equipment to broaden hands-on experiences. I really enjoy giving a student an opportunity to try something they have never considered trying. No matter how much energy I give, I get more energy back from the students’ enthusiasm.”

Vote for Vertz

From Nov. 28 through Dec. 11, you can vote for Vertz on connectamillionminds.com. The finalist with the most votes will receive an additional $10,000 grant for the STEM non-profit organization that they support.

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