FIRST® Announces New Rookie Team Incentive Program

FIRST News Release

FIRST® Announces New Rookie Team Incentive Program

Progressive Referral Program Reduces Team Registration Costs,  Assures Students Advance Through Family of K-12 Robotics Programs

MANCHESTER, N.H., Oct. 18, 2010
- FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today introduced a series ofprogramincentives to help reduce the cost of team registrations and promote the progression of students in all of its student robotics programs for grades K through 12.

"The FIRST incentive program helps to remove challenges students experience that might impede their progression through the FIRST family of programs," said JonDudas, President of FIRST. "FIRST truly mirrors the innovation process. So whether it’s investigating the patent process through FLL, developing an engineering mindset through the engineering notebook of FTC, or becoming a key player in an entrepreneurial environment with FRC, the FIRST incentive program helps to ensure that all students who want to advance through FIRST robotics get that opportunity."

Rookie Teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC®) program will be eligible for a grant program that reduces their team registration fees to $75, while returning and past FTC teams providing referrals for new Rookie Teams will be awarded a $200 credit toward their team’s FTC registrations next year. Current and former FIRST LEGO® League (FLL®) students meanwhile will receive a $200 credit toward their FTC Rookie Team registration, plus a discount in the cost of their FTC competition kit. Currently-registered FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) teams will be eligible for a $200 discount to register an FTC team to compete in an FTC event. FRC teams that exercise this option would then qualify for a $500 credit towards their 2012 FRC registration.

To support this effort with new, official FIRST events, FIRST will award $2,500to each new qualifying FTC Affiliate Partner that is added to the FIRST organization. Affiliate Partners host and conduct qualifying events, organize and manage qualifying teams and events, and staff regional events along with a corps of volunteers. Affiliate Partners provide facilitiesfor regional and qualifying events.

In order toqualify for any of these discount options, the FTC registrations would have to be brand new teams with Rookie numbers that were registered between November 1, 2010 and March 30, 2011.

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 $14 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. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLLT) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismTM is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

Media Contacts:

Dennis Garrigan, FIRST