Press Release - August 12, 2012

FIRST® Receives Innovation Generation Grant

Motorola Solutions Foundation Awards FIRST  $200K in Support of Science and Engineering Education Programs

MANCHESTER, N.H., August 7, 2012FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen, announced today that it will receive $200,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation as part of their Innovation Generation grant. The Foundation, which serves as the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc., introduced this program in 2007 and has since provided $30 million in support of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs in the United States.

FIRST is one of 87 organizations across the United States to receive this year’s Innovation Generation grant. The grant, which provides a total of $4.9 million, aims to fund organizations that ignite passion and interest in STEM subjects and careers amongst teachers and students alike. The 2012 grants will affect more than 178,000 students and teachers, providing nearly 18 million hours of science experiences for the 2012-2013 grant year.

“Motorola Solutions is one of our Founding Sponsors, and awarded FIRST with a $150,000 Innovation Generation grant last year,” said FIRST President, Jon Dudas, “We are grateful for the level of support Motorola Solutions has provided over the years, and for their continued investment in our organization’s mission.”

The mission of FIRST is in line with the goals of the Motorola Solutions Foundation grant, aiming to ultimately transform the culture of the United States by inspiring young people to become science and technology leaders by engaging them in Mentor-based programs that build STEM skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. A majority of the grant money will be invested in the creation of new FIRST teams and growing FIRST programs in target areas such as California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and New York. The grant will fundamentally help FIRST get more students, teachers, parents, adult Mentors, and industry leaders involved across all programs (which are offered to students K-12), and in turn ignite their excitement about STEM programs and careers.

The grants were awarded in two categories: Local Impact Grants and National Partnership Grants. FIRST fell into the latter category, as this portion of funding was reserved for large-scale, multi-regional STEM education programs that impact at least 150 primary participants. For the upcoming 2012/2013 season, FIRST projects its overall reach will involve more than 300,000 students and more than 120,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers.

“Each year, I am truly amazed by the ground-breaking work our grant recipients accomplish through the Innovation Generation program. These organizations are playing an active role in developing the future generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators in the United States. As a company that’s dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, we could not be more honored to support such a worthy group of grantees,” commented Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation.

The full list of 2012 Motorola Solutions Foundation Innovation Generation grant recipients can be viewed here.

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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 $15 million in college scholarships, 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 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. 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.

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, FTC®, and Gracious Professionalism® are registered trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO® and MINDSTORMS® are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, and Jr.FLL® are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and The LEGO Group. ©2012 FIRST. All rights reserved. 

Media Contact:
Haley Dunn, FIRST
603-666-3906 x 494