April 24, 2012
Motorola Solutions Foundation Makes Engineering ‘Cool’ Through FIRST® Robotics Competitions
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – April 24, 2012 – Through grants of more than $680,000, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI), is providing students around the world an opportunity to experience hands-on engineering through the FIRST® robotics program. FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is an international organization with a mission 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.
- The Motorola Solutions Foundation has supported FIRST for more than 20 years, providing more than $14.5 million and countless volunteer hours to the organization since 1989. This year, the Motorola Solutions Foundation sponsored 166 teams at the elementary, middle and high school levels in 26 U.S. states and 11 countries.
- Four of the Motorola Solutions Foundation-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition teams will advance to the 2012 championship competition to be held in St. Louis on April 25-28.
- In addition to qualifying for the championship at the Central Valley Regional, the Devil Ducks team from San Diego also received the Chairman’s Award for its exemplary efforts in spreading the FIRST message and its talents in organizing materials for its presentations. The team also won the Imagery Award, rewarding attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance.
- The Raiders team from Patchogue, N.Y. qualified for the championship at the SBPLI Long Island Regional and the New York City Regional. The team received the Industrial Safety Award, celebrating senior team member Kristen Zatwarnicki’s e-waste recycling drive that collected more than 8,000 pounds of e-waste. The team also received the Engineering Inspiration Award for its outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering.
- The MotoRobo team from Plantation, Fla. is a relatively new team with only two years under its belt and is made up of a younger team demographic with no seniors. The team will advance from the Orlando Regional and the Boca Regional to the championship in St. Louis.
- Last year’s national champion, the WildStang team from Schaumburg, Ill., qualified for this year’s championship at the Midwest Regional and the Minnesota North Star Regional. The team received the FIRST Dean's List Finalist Award, celebrating team member Jessica Endres’ outstanding student leadership and passion for FIRST ideals; the Imagery Award, rewarding attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance; and the Innovation in Control Award for its creative design of its control system, including electrical, mechanical and software components.
- Of the 166 FIRST teams supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, more than 100 are Girl Scout teams. Of these, nine teams will advance to the National Competition and the FIRST Lego League World Festival, held in St. Louis on April 25-28. Similarly, the Mooovers team, from Long Grove, Ill. won the Illinois state championship and will advance to the FLL Food Factor Invitational Championship, held in Florida on May 4-6. The Mooovers also will attend the World Robotics Invitational in Germany on June 7-9.
- In addition to funding, more than 75 Motorola Solutions employees volunteered with the FIRST organization this year. Many of these volunteers, such as Celestino Alem, an electrical engineer from Holtsville, N.Y., and Tiffany Gach, an implementation engineer from Schaumburg, Ill., started as students and returned to FIRST as professionals to serve as mentors. Tiffany’s and Celestino’s passion for engineering developed through the FIRST organization. After accepting positions at Motorola Solutions, both were honored to give back to the same teams that inspired them to become engineers.
Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation
“With our financial support and incredible employee volunteers, the Motorola Solutions Foundation supports programs that make a measureable impact on the people they serve. The FIRST Robotics program is a fantastic example, as it inspires students to pursue their passion for engineering by teaching them that engineering is fun, relevant and possible. Additionally, our employee mentors give students real examples of successful engineers, providing them with inspiration to pursue their dreams.”
Tiffany Gach, implementation engineer at Motorola Solutions, former student participant of WildStang team and current WildStang team mentor
“I was truly honored when I was asked to become a mentor for WildStang. As a female engineer, I found the FIRST program provided an outlet to experience my passion for engineering in a ‘cool’ environment. I was thrilled to receive a job offer from Motorola Solutions, the company that supported my FIRST team as a student, and even more excited when I had the opportunity to give back to the team that helped me get to where I am today.”
Celestino Alem, electrical engineer at Motorola Solutions, former student participant of Raiders team and current Raiders team mentor
“The FIRST robotics program inspired me to pursue a career in engineering when I was a student on the team. FIRST robotics goes beyond just building robots; it also builds character, discipline and leadership. I don’t think any of my engineering experiences would have been possible without the support of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. I am thrilled to continue my involvement with FIRST as an electrical engineer at Motorola Solutions and a returning mentor for the Raiders. I hope our continued support will inspire more students to succeed, the same way FIRST helped me.”
About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/giving.
Motorola Solutions Media Contacts