FIRST Names Motorola Foundation Strategic Partner

FIRST News Release

FIRST Names Motorola Foundation Strategic Partner

Telecommunications company celebrates 20 years of involvement

MANCHESTER, NH and SCHAUMBURG, IL April 17, 2009 - FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization created to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, is pleased to recognize the Motorola Foundation as a Strategic Partner.  The FIRST 2009 Championship will be held in Atlanta this weekend, featuring three levels of robotic challenges for students of all ages.

As a founding sponsor of FIRST, Motorola has been working with the organization for nearly 20 years to introduce students to the limitless opportunities available in engineering and technology careers through hands-on engagement.  Since FIRST’s inception in 1989, Motorola has provided continuous financial and personal support, investing more than $14 million and countless volunteer hours in the organization.

"Motorola is a Strategic Partner of FIRST for helping advance our organization’s mission to expand science, technology, engineering and math experiences for all kids," said Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST. "They’ve been with us from the start, and truly understand how crucial it is that we provide all students with experiences that inspire innovation and cultivate a passion for science and engineering."

This year the Motorola Foundation provided $1 million in support of FIRST Robotics programs, sponsoring 120 teams at the middle and high-school levels in the United States and Israel. In addition, 60 Motorola volunteers are leading teams, coordinating regional events and judging robotics competitions. Motorola has also contributed to FIRST’s global expansion, funding regional competitions across the U.S. and in Chile, Germany and Haiti in 2009.

"Kids don’t realize that engineering and technology touch every aspect of their lives, but by showing them the real-world applications of science and math, we can inspire the next generation of great inventors and critical thinkers," said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "The Motorola Foundation is honored to be a Strategic Partner of FIRST, and we are committed to advancing the organization’s mission to engage students in science and technology." 

To showcase and share the excitement of FIRST, Motorola and T-Mobile will provide camera phones to over 80 middle-school teams at the 2009 championship in Atlanta to document the event.  These photos will be shared with other teams, sponsors, and the leadership of FIRST.

About the Motorola Foundation
The Motorola Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. The Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information, on Motorola Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

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 the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, 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 children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds. 


Media Contacts:

Kristine Mulford                    
Motorola, Inc.      
Cheryl Walsh
603-666-3906 ext. 460