About Us

Queen City Robotics Alliance

The Queen City Robotics Alliance (QCRA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2014. QCRA was founded by Lia Schwinghammer initially as an umbrella fundraising entity for FIRST®  teams and events in Charlotte, NC.  Lia has volunteered with FIRST®  in various capacities since 2008 and upon arriving in Charlotte in 2009 found only a handful of elementary FIRST®  teams (FIRST®  LEGO® ), no events and no high school (FIRST®  Robotics) teams. By bringing coaches and teams together, QCRA established the remarkable trendsetting FIRST© Zone, garnering national attention from FIRST teams. Over the past five years, the efforts and activities of QCRA have brought significant growth of teams and events in and around Charlotte, NC.  Today, QCRA supports multiple teams and events at all four FIRST® levels. These teams regularly, learn, fund-raise and conduct outreach together making for more successful outcomes.

“Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. [Our] vision is to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

 -Dean Kamen, Founder


To find out more about FIRST® Robotics programs, which are available for kindergarten through high school, follow the links above.


© 2019 by Queen City Robotics Alliance

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900 Pressley Road, Charlotte, NC 28217