Sponsor Profiles

What Our Sponsors Are Saying About FIRST

Here are three of our many sponsors who exemplify exceptional commitment to the mission and goals of FIRST.


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Rockwell Automation 

Rockwell Automation and FIRST share a partnership that has evolved over ten years.  In addition to supplying monetary and in-kind support to FIRST, Rockwell Automation also encourages its employees to volunteer as mentors, judges, referees and other areas for support. Many of the company''s in-kind product donations are included in the playing field at each FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) regional and Championship events.  As a Rockwell Automation pillar program, FIRST addresses the need for strong preparation in science, technology, engineering and math to improve our communities, create jobs and educate tomorrow’s workforce and customer base.  Rockwell Automation is proud to be a FIRST Strategic Partner and the sole sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition "Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award".

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE:ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 19,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.


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LEGO Education North America

Stephan Turnipseed
Executive Vice President, Pitsco & General Manager, LEGO Education NA Division

LEGO Education North America is not an ordinary supplier, but is a part of every step in the process to make the FLL program successful. From receiving and shipping all FLL team and Operational Partner orders in the U.S. to handling customer technical support calls, LEGO Education NA goes outside the realm of product support and provides program support. This "can-do" spirit is expressed loudly from the top down, stemming from Stephan Turnipseed. Stephan has been a key player in the relationship between FLL and LEGO Education NA since its inception in 1998. It is his strong belief in the goals and vision of FIRST LEGO League that inspires his employees to take FLL to the next level.

Established in 1997, LEGO Education North America is a joint venture between Pitsco, Inc. and the educational division of The LEGO Group. This relationship was cemented on a common philosophy: Well thought-out, hands-on activities motivate students and create a fertile environment for learning. This shared philosophy is the reason that LEGO Education NA is a perfect match for FLL.


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Exploration, discovery, and understanding are at the core of NASA. They also serve as the foundation for NASA’s long-standing support for FIRST. As lead FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsor, NASA has been an important partner in FIRST’s growth. As the major contributor for new regional events, NASA has helped FRC grow to 33 regional events this year. The multi-year NASA grant program for rookie teams has helped hundreds of new teams participate in FRC and been a major factor in reaching a total of 1,133 teams. In addition, NASA provides thousands of hours of volunteer time as well as webcasts of the FRC Kickoff event, regional competitions, and the Championship in Atlanta.

Dave Lavery, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration, has been a key architect of NASA’s leadership role over the years. Dave explains NASA’s involvement this way:  "On a pragmatic, business level, it just makes sense for NASA to cooperate with  FIRST. We believe we’re creating the future talent pool of employees in the robotics field. On an individual, personal level, FIRST is having a real impact on the lives of these students, helping them realize what they’re capable of. On a national level, we’re creating new engineers who will drive the entire future economic engine of the country."