AEP/SWEPCO made a $6,000 grant donation to the Rocky Balboabots, the FIRST Robotics team organized through the Booneville School District.

Making the donation was Bradley Hardin, the company’s External Affairs and Government Affairs Manager.

Accepting the donation on behalf of the school district was Superintendent Trent Goff. Also present for the district was Laina Ray, and on behalf of the program were mentors Crockett Hopper, David Fritsche, and Debbie Danekas. Program sponsor and BHS science teacher Katrina Fisher was unable to attend.

The donation is the fifth for the company to the program, which Hardin said participates is the company's preferred organization.

“There are multiple robotics programs, but FIRST is the one that SWEPCO recognizes and it’s the one that we sponsor,” said Hardin.

“We are excited to receive this,” said Danekas. “Every year we apply and are so thankful when you give us a call.”

The Team 5437 Rocky Balboabots is formed each year in January and is tasked with creating a robot to accomplish a specific task, using only a specific set of parts.

This year eight BHS students participated. Previous teams have had as many as 18 players.

The team works in space provided by Rockline Industries in Booneville, which contributes to the name given the team with the 5437 portion given by the FIRST organization.

Balboabot teams have competed in world competitions most of their eight years of existence.