Laurel Highlands Education and Robotics

Channeling our Region’s Existing Work Ethic While Transitioning the Next Generation into Emerging STEM Careers

What is LHER?

Laurel Highlands Education and Robotics, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity whose vision is to inspire others and ignite a passion in our community to invest in local youth and tomorrow’s technology workforce.

LHER provides education and STEM skills to youth, resources necessary to cultivate the next generation of the STEM workforce, and mentorship to develop and strengthen robotics teams for K-12 students competing in FIRST competitions. LHER is continuously improving programming to cater to the STEM education needs of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region and beyond.

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LHER Engages in the Following Activities:


Promotes student involvement in science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and robotics curricula, and other beneficial educational programs.

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Provides opportunities for students to meet and learn from engineers, scientists, technologists, advanced technology manufacturers, and other professionals and expand student awareness of potential career opportunities.


Offers supplemental educational classes and training to improve student’s ability to enter the workforce upon graduation.


Creates a learning environment where students excel and have the opportunity to develop skills that bridge gaps and open doors to future career opportunities.

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Supports student teams that are participating in non-competitive and competitive programs, including but not limited to the programs of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) currently known as Jr. FIRST Lego League, FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Challenge.

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Supports FIRST Tech Challenge Team 8645 in their goal to design and build a robot to compete in FIRST’s international robotics competitions, and support other teams as opportunities arise.

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Provides guidance and training to students and sub-teams in areas such as engineering basics, mechanical building, programming, CAD design, project management, business planning, marketing, fundraising, presentation skills, and other needed aspects.


Promotes projects and provide guidance through the fundraising and grant application process to raise funds so that students have access to current technology and programs to expand their education base.


Encourages and promotes students to pursue higher education and inform students of opportunities to secure and obtain scholarships.

Roxanne Jenner

Director of CODE Programs, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

"LHER is impacting lives through their constant involvement in the community to educate businesses, schools, parents, and students on the value of robotics as part of a K-12 education to develop STEM skills. I have witnessed the excitement of younger students when they get to “play” with one of their working robots and of parents who see their child’s progression in skill development. Without LHER, this growth of a STEM-rich environment would not be happening in our region."

Shawn Cerully

Special Projects Coordinator, Appalachia IU8

“LHER, Inc. and their team FTC Team 8645 Robotic Doges have been a great asset to our FIRST LEGO League Workshops. They have consistently worked with the students in our region to not only help them learn important coding skills, but they also show the students the importance of collaboration and hard work through their success. The practical tips, inspiration, and programming help they offer to our students are both relevant and necessary for 21st-century careers.”

Dale Messenger

Coach of FTC Team 13535 Brain Botz

LHER offered far more help starting a new team than I initially thought.  They answered any questions I had. As a new coach, I want to return the favor.  FTC gets in your blood!

Tabatha Fletcher

Coach of FLL Team 27681—Zap Squad

LHER’s workshops provided an opportunity for our FIRST LEGO League students to get answers to their programming questions and to learn strategy tips for our competition. Our team enjoyed speaking with older kids who had “been there, done that” and it gave them the confidence and know-how to continue our season. The workshops became an invaluable asset and something we looked forward to doing.”

Jessica Alexander

Parent of Robotic Doges Team Member

“Our son has grown so much as a young man in his first year as a member of a LHER robotics team. I can only imagine what future years will bring. This group is full of so much knowledge, support, encouragement, opportunities, and wonderful role models. It has been a blessing to watch Walker grow. He has come out of his shell. This truly has not only allowed him to learn and experience so much, but to grow as a person.”

Brady Doyle

LHER Program Graduate and Robotic Doges Alumni

Participating in one of LHER’s robotics teams has allowed me to experience high school life beyond the classroom setting. It furthered my interest in computer science and the field of engineering. More importantly, I have had the honor to know so many young extraordinary “Doges”, and to have the chance to learn from/with our coaches along the journey. The “Robotic Doges” is not just team; it is more like a family that you can just fit right into, especially for a programmer.”

How LHER Helps Launch Robotic Teams:

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Help with Experience

LHER, Inc. shares what their teams have learned to help FLL students transition to FTC.


Help with Funding

LHER, Inc. directs coaches in the FIRST grant process and share how their teams have obtained funding from other souces.

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Help with Parts

LHER, Inc. uses their established relationships with robotics vendors to help new teams make connections to obtain gift certificates or free parts from completing FTC registration.

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Help Navigate the Season

LHER, Inc. comes alongside new FTC teams to help them experience success. Their team's coaches and students can answer questions, share lessons learned, practice together, provide guidance and tips, and do everything possible to help new teams experience the same levels of success that their teams have had, and beyond.

831 Soap Hollow Road | Hollsopple, PA 15935-8416 | 814-288-5785