Rockwell Collins Named Official Sponsor for FTC
FIRST News Release
MANCHESTER, N.H., and CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, September 3, 2009 - FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced today that Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) has been named the Official Program Sponsor for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). The announcement recognizes the distinct role Rockwell Collins will play as the primary official sponsor of FTC, the newest and fastest-growing FIRST program available to students in grades nine through twelve.
A long-standing sponsor of FIRST, Rockwell Collins has provided more than $1 million in support of FIRST programs, sponsoring hundreds of teams and events at the elementary, middle and high-school levels in the United States. In addition, as a FIRST Strategic Partner, Rockwell Collins employees act as volunteers, leading teams and providing technical mentorship, coordinating regional events and judging robotics competitions. Rockwell Collins has also contributed to FIRST’s expansion, funding local and state competitions across the U.S. in 2009.
"When you excite students with hands-on experiences and reinforce classroom learning with creative applications of content from textbooks, kids get motivated and want to learn," said Clay Jones, Chairman, President and CEO of Rockwell Collins. "As the Official Program Sponsor of FTC, we’re taking the lead to help expand the FIRST Program so that these opportunities can be made accessible to students, schools and organizations that might not otherwise have the ability to participate."
An estimated 1,300 FTC teams are expected to compete in some 60 official FTC tournaments across North America for the upcoming season. More than 10,000 participants will be involved in FTC events, which culminates in the FTC World Championship, April 15-17, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga. Participants will be joined by teachers, parents, and university and corporate mentors as well as prominent regional and national leaders in business, government, education and the media.
"We’re grateful and honored with the program sponsorship of FTC by Rockwell Collins," said Paul R. Gudonis, President of FIRST. "Rockwell Collins and FIRST have enjoyed a great relationship bringing together staff, mentors, program partners such as Iowa State University, University of Iowa, Florida Institute of Technology and others, as well as volunteers nationwide to inspire tomorrows innovators."
To showcase the sponsorship of the FIRST Tech Challenge, Rockwell Collins will be recognized as the FTC Official Program Sponsor. With the sponsorship, the Innovate Award, given at each official FTC event, including the FTC World Championship, will be renamed in honor of Rockwell Collins - as the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award - to reflect the corporation’s mission, vision and values.
Other FIRST Tech Challenge sponsors include FTC CAD and Collaboration Sponsor, PTC and FTC Program Sponsor, General Dynamics.
About Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management and simulation and training is delivered by nearly 20,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds.