Press Release - October 22, 2012

FIRST® Extends Annual Robotics Championship in St. Louis Through 2014

Manchester, NH, October 22, 2012 – FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced today that it extended its stay in St. Louis, Missouri for the annual international robotics Championship through 2014. This is an extension of one year in the America’s Center Convention complex and Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis, with a 67,000 seat stadium capacity, was selected in 2009 from among three finalist cities to host the expanding FIRST programs for the 2011-2013 seasons. FIRST reaches an estimated 300,000 young people from 60 plus countries in four K-12 robotics programs.

“We continue to be impressed by St. Louis’ facilities, infrastructure, and the widespread community support to meet the growing needs of FIRST,” said Ron Falcone, FIRST Championship Site Committee Chairperson. “The city of St. Louis has opened its arms to FIRST with an enormous amount of time, effort, and hospitality so we are pleased to be able to add another year onto the existing contract.”

St. Louis has held a FIRST Regional Competition for ten years and has hundreds of volunteers involved in all four programs at FIRST, including: Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr. FLL®); FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®); FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®); and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®). The local community, spearheaded by FIRST Strategic Partner, the Saint Louis Science Center, assists all of the state’s robotics teams with Mentors, venues, and financial support.

 “St. Louis is proud to continue hosting the prestigious FIRST event as it successfully showcases our region as a destination that embraces education, science and technology,” said Kathleen “Kitty” Ratcliffe, President/CEO St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. “FIRST is second to none in sparking young minds and we welcome these next-generation leaders back with open arms."

The dates for the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, Missouri are: April 24-27, 2013 and April 23-26, 2014.

About FIRST®

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 support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

About the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (CVC)

The St. Louis CVC is the sales and marketing organization responsible for marketing St. Louis City and St. Louis County as a convention and meeting site and as a leisure travel destination. In addition, the CVC manages and operates the America’s Center Convention Complex®, which includes 502,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, a 28,000 square-foot ballroom, the 67,000-seat Edward Jones Dome, the 1,400-seat Ferrara Theatre, and the St. Louis Executive Conference Center.

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, Jr. FIRST® LEGO® League, Jr.FLL®, FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC® are registered trademarks, of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®).