Local nonprofit organization aims to support robotics in Chattanooga area's schools [photos]

STEM School student Noah Pierce adds a bit of tape to his team's robot before demonstrating its operation at the EPB Robo Expo held at their downtown operations center on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The robot, which was controlled remotely, could navigate obstacles and toss a foam ball into a wooden goal structure. The expo featured teams of area robotics students exhibiting robots that they built for competition.

Members of the Greater Chattanooga Robotics board hope to provide every student in the region with the opportunity to be part of a robotics program in coming years.

"All kids are capable of learning, they just need the resources, guidance and direction," said Charley Spencer, founder of Greater Chattanooga Robotics, a newly launched nonprofit organization.

For more than 15 years, employees at the Tennessee Valley Authority have contributed more than $1 million to robotics initiatives across the Tennessee Valley, and now support robotics programs at about 60 schools.

Spencer, a retired financial analyst at TVA who has led the robotics initiatives, decided this year to start the nonprofit to continue and build upon that work.