FIRST Tech Challenge Director to Lead Industry Panel at the Association of Unmanned Vehicles (AUVSI) Conference

FIRST News Release

FIRST® Tech Challenge Director to Lead Industry Panel at the Association of Unmanned Vehicles (AUVSI) Conference

Ken Johnson to address benefits of student robotics programs to business and industry

MANCHESTER, N.H., August 19, 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 announced that its Director of the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®), Ken Johnson, will deliver remarks at the Association of Unmanned Vehicles (AUVSI) Conference.  Mr. Johnson will be leading a panel discussion of industry executives whose companies support student robotics programs in communities across the country.


What:               Mr. Johnson’s presentation, titled "The Value of Student Robotics Competitions," will analyze why students get involved with robotics competitions; and why FIRST and AUVSI student competitors obtain STEM-related jobs. The session will analyze what sets apart the students in the competitions; and attendees will hear directly from past competitors as they talk about their career paths and lessons learned from the competitions.

When:              Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time 

Where:            Colorado Convention Center, Denver

Event:              AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2010 is the premier forum for reviewing, assessing and discussing current unmanned systems. The conference brings together leaders and decision-makers in the industry. Officials from government and user organizations around the world attend and participate in the symposium program.

Presenters:     Ken Johnson, Director, FIRST Tech Challenge

                        Chris Mailey, Deputy Program Manager, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific

                        Kevin Claycomb, Senior Electrical Engineer, Northrop Grumman ES

                        Michael Fleming, CEO, TORC Technologies

                        Stephen Morris, President, MLB Company

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 more than $12 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 ProfessionalismT 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

Media Contact: 

Dennis Garrigan, FIRST