MANCHESTER, N.H. – May 15, 2007 – FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new FIRST Robotics Competition Seattle regional event for 2008. The regional competition will be sponsored by Microsoft. Activities are underway to form a planning committee; recruit teams, volunteers and sponsors; and determine the competition date and venue.
“By sponsoring a new regional event in Seattle, Microsoft is building on its long-standing support of the FIRST mission to increase opportunities for young people to pursue careers in science and technology,” said Paul Gudonis, president of FIRST. “This commitment establishes a new level of relationship between Microsoft and FIRST, as we join efforts to produce the next generation of scientists and engineers who will develop cutting-edge technologies, produce competitive products, and meet the challenges of the future.”
“Microsoft is honored to sponsor the Seattle regional event in 2008,” said Tandy Trower, general manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group. “We see robotics as a key driving force in inspiring students about engineering and computer science. FIRST gives everyone the access to technology and encourages teamwork, innovation and imagination.”
The Seattle regional event will be one of 41 regional competitions that will lead up to the 2008 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 17–19.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps students discover the rewards and excitement of science, engineering and technology. Over 32,500 high-school students in seven countries participated in the 2007 competition. Working with mentors, students have just six weeks to design, build and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
Since its beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students and academic communities. FRC participants are eligible to receive over $8 million in scholarships from some of the finest science and engineering schools in the country. Research has shown that FIRST students’ attitudes about science, math, teamwork and the working world significantly improved after participating. The students’ self image also improved, particularly in minority groups. In addition, interest in internship and employment opportunities with sponsoring companies increased. FIRST is supported by a strong network of sponsors that provide funding, mentorship time, talent, volunteerism, equipment and more.
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 and FIRST Vex Challenge for high-school students, the FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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