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April 23, 2013

Motorola Solutions Foundation Supports Student Engineering at FIRST® Robotics Competition

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – April 23, 2013 – Through grants of more than $600,000 and hundreds of hours of volunteer time, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) and Motorola Solutions employees, are 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. Under the challenges set up by FIRST every year, engineer volunteers and students collaborate and compete by building, programming and driving robots designed to overcome different challenges.


  • The Motorola Solutions Foundation has supported FIRST for more than 20 years, providing more than $15 million and countless volunteer hours to the organization since 1989. This year, the Motorola Solutions Foundation sponsored 160 teams at the elementary, middle and high school levels in 26 U.S. states and 12 countries.
    • 13 of the Motorola Solutions Foundation-sponsored FIRST Robotics teams will advance to the 2013 Championship to be held April 24-27 in St. Louis.
    • In addition to qualifying for the championship, the Going Hot on Super Technology (G.H.O.S.T) team from Wood Dale, Ill., also received the Champion’s Award for fully embracing the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) core values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the robot game and project. The team also won the Project Presentation Award, rewarding the team that effectively communicates the problem it has identified as well as the proposed solution to both the judges and other supporters.
    • The Girls on Wheels team from Naperville, Ill, qualified for the championship at the Batavia Regional Competition and the Illinois State Championship. The team received the Finalist Alliance Award, given to the finalist alliance represented in the final match of the competition. The team also received the PTC Design Award recognizing the design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic.
    • The MotoRobo team from Miami, Fla., also will attend the championship after competing in the Bayou Regional and the Orlando Regional Competitions. The team received the Engineering Inspiration Award celebrating a team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within its school and its community.
    • The WildStang team from Schaumburg, Ill., has always been a top performer at FIRST events and qualified for this year’s championship at the Milwaukee Regional Competition. The team received the Industrial Design Award, celebrating the form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge. The team also received the Innovation in Control Award at the Midwest Regional Competition celebrating an innovative control system or application of control components (electrical, mechanical or software) to provide unique machine functions.
  • Of the 160 FIRST teams supported by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, more than 100 are Girl Scout teams. Of these, four teams will advance to the FIRST Championship.
  • More than 15 Motorola Solutions employees will be supporting their teams at the championships this year as volunteer coaches and mentors.
  • In addition to funding, more than 75 Motorola Solutions employees volunteered with the FIRST organization this year. Many of these volunteers, such as Patrick Claeys, from Plantation, Fla., Tom Boehm from Holtsville, N.Y., and Dave Layshock from Columbia, Md., have served as FIRST team mentors for the past several years. Claeys, Boehm and Layshock are honored to give back to these amazing teams and to inspire the next generation of Motorola Solutions engineers.


Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation
“We are so proud of our employees and the students they mentor this year for all of their successes on and off the competition field. The FIRST Robotics program is a fantastic example of the power of mentoring as it inspires students to pursue and develop their passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This program teaches them that careers in engineering and technology are fun, relevant and possible.”

Patrick Claeys, senior mechanical engineer, Motorola Solutions, and mentor, FIRST Robotics Team MotoRobo
“My involvement with FIRST – and FRC in particular – has been rewarding, enlightening, and exciting to say the least. Before I started at MSI 7 years ago, I had no idea that a program like this existed or the impact that it has on the students – and not to mention, myself. This program has shown me as an engineer and team mentor how to teach, guide, and lead the students, and allowed me to pass along the knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way to help them understand the basic concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Tom Boehm, software engineer, Motorola Solutions, and mentor, FIRST Robotics Team Raiders
“This program successfully prepares high school students for the engineering world and sets them up to be valuable contributors to engineering firms like Motorola Solutions. Everyone wins with this program.”

Dave Layshock, system engineering director, Motorola Solutions, and mentor, FIRST Robotics Team Ragnarök
“FIRST Robotics provides a variety of experiences to students rarely found in a high school environment: leadership, teamwork, planning, project execution, problem resolution and competition. The six intense weeks of the build cycle provide invaluable knowledge and insight into designing and deploying in the real world!”

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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

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