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North STAR Center


(Science, Technology, Automation, & Robotics)

North STAR Center Initiative:

Students may never travel down the path to life long success not because they lack ability, but because they lack opportunity.

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For robotics students in our region the reality is that they face a lack of opportunities simply based on the zip code in which they live. When the NMRC was founded in 2017 by teachers and robotics coaches our fundamental mission was to help students across our region grow by creating ways to provide them with opportunities.

What is the need...

The NMRC supports a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of students in our region. Many of these can be tied to the rural isolation many of them face. Travelling to events and workshops are often cost prohibitive or not feasible based on windshield time or the loss of school days for travel. With this in mind we have developed programs here in our region to address this inequity due to geography.

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  • Deliver the opportunity: The NMRC's first step in creating opportunity was to bring robotics events to the region. When mentors began meeting in 2016 to create the NMRC the closest competitions for the majority of our members where 3, 4 or even a 5+ hour drive away from there communities. To meet this need we set out to acquire all the equipment, materials, and volunteers needed to bring events closer to students. This program has been a major success as we now own and operate a fully automated robotics completion field, transportation equipment, and a wide variety of other supporting equipment for these events. We also have robots and equipment that is deployed out to regional schools for teachers to utilize in their classrooms. In addition we send equipment out to support summer educational events like the BSU/NMRC programming camps and other similar activities.

Need: This equipment is being utilized on a regular basis but has no official home. It is spread out across a number of locations and is becoming difficult to store, manage and distribute efficiently. The NMRC is in need of a space to call home so the assets can be managed in a way that better helps deliver them to students effectively. The North STAR Center initiative will ensure this need is met as it will have a designated space for this critical need.​

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  • Provide the space: ​Image your local HS football team warming up for their first game of the season and that is the first time any of them have stepped onto a football field. This almost unimaginable concept is reality for most HS robotics teams. To complicate the matter further for robotics teams the field itself and the rules change each and every year. A FIRST robotics competition field is approximately the size of a basketball court and takes hours to set up and again to take down. Teams simply can not find space to be designate for this purpose. Gyms are being used during the day by regulars classes and athletic sports with a longer history/tradition always seem to win out over activities such as robotics robotics.

Need: Currently no team in Northern Minnesota or North Dakota have consistent access to a regulation field during the competition season (Jan-May). ​The North STAR Center initiative will be the first such designated space of its kind in our region. It will ensure that teams will have an option when they want to test their technological creations on the field.

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  • Inform Communities & Connecting People: The proverb of “it takes a village to raise a child” rings true in the world of robotics and STEM education. Individuals involved with FIRST robotics and other youth focused organization know that it can't not be done alone. It take the commitment and dedication from a wide array of individuals, organizations, businesses, and families from these community to make them successful and sustainable. People already involved with robotics know what a life changing experience our programs can be for kids. Many of us believe that there is no better program out there today that prepares students for all aspects of life after graduation. Sadly however many people do not know that this program or our teams exist. It is likely the best sport many have never heard of.

Need: To achieve greatness, not for our organization, but for our youth we need to "meet the people where they are" and in this instance literally. The NMRC's home should be located at a place that is highly visible, accessible by the communities we serve, and act as a place in which we can come together with people and organizations to work for the betterment of kids.

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How To Help...

The NMRC and our partners believe that people genuinely want to help kids. They are our future and hold the greatest potential for our communities to thrive. While we believe everyone wants to help we also understand that not everyone can help the same way. With this in mind we are eager to work with others in creative ways to bring this initiative to a succeful completion. 


Project Goal



Financial Assistance

We are working to secure financial assistance from a network of givers. 

  • Grants: If your organization offers any grant opportunities that you believe this, or other projects the NMRC spearheads, would be a good fit please let us know.

  • Sponsorships: For this initiative several different types/levels of sponsorship opportunities have been established for organizations who want to get involved. They include, but not limited to...

    • Building Naming Rights​

    • Large Banners Showcasing Organization

    • The "Wall of Support" permanently listing supports 

  • Financial Donations: Every Dollar Helps! We are happy to accept whatever level of financial assistance people are comfortable giving. These contributions can be made anonymously if donors so chose. Personal donations can be made by accessing the link bellow.


In-Kind Donations

These types of donations are most welcome for this project. While not as flexible as monetary assistance it often proves to be more impactful long term as it connects people and organizations in a more personal way. Donation of this nature may have a value placed on them in order to be placed on the appropriate "Sponsorship" level when recognizing supporters of this initiative.

  • Materials: As we work to develop final building plans we will be welcoming donations of physical materials to be used during the construction process. This might include such items as lumber, drywall, plumbing & lighting fixtures, rebar, paint, and more. Lists of materials along with specifications will be posted here as they are identified.

    • Material Needs Donation List & Info: Coming Soon

  • Services: During the construction process we will be accepting donations of services either in full or in part. Examples of the services needed for this project include electrical work, plumbing, painting, and more. However we must insist that these types of service donations be provided in accordance with all state/local requirements for insurance and licensing for the applicable industry. Donation of services will be accepted at the discretion of the General Contractor and NMRC designated representatives.

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What is the Plan...

Phase 1: Laying the Ground Work

This initial phase of the initiative contains the critical pieces of formalizing partnerships, developing structural plans, and securing support both financial and in-kind to complete this momentous project. 

Phase 2 : Auxiliary Structure Work 

Remodel and updates begin on an existing structure that will be attached to the main building upon completion. This space will consist of office space, restroom, meeting space, utilities and custodial storage. When finished this will also be the new home of the North Country Vocational Cooperative Counsel (NCVCC).

Phase 3: Big Build

This will be the most noticeable phase of the project as it is the construction of the main building. This building will house the equipment that is deployed out to schools and events in support of STEM events, robotics competitions, and other education related activities.

In addition will also be the new home for a full size robotics competition field.

Phase 4: Finishing Touches

Consisting primarily of exterior projects such as sidewalks, landscaping, and parking this phase really completes the project. It will ensure that this structure becomes part of the fabric of the Fair Grounds and is an inviting place for all who visit.

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Beltrami County Fair Grounds (Bemidji): Planned Location

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North STAR Center Artist Rendering (Interior)

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North STAR Center Artist Rendering (Exterior)

North STAR Center Partners

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