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FIRST Announces Rockwell Automation's Sponsorship of Innovation in Control Award.

Increased support strengthens partnership to inspire future scientists and engineers

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) today announced Rockwell Automation as sole sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition "Innovation in Control Award" for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Building on the company's history of supporting FIRST, Rockwell Automation will also increase its sponsorship at multiple levels, including financial and in-kind donations, and team and event support across all FIRST programs.

"Rockwell Automation is proud to champion young people's interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education," said Rockwell Automation Chairman and CEO Keith Nosbusch. "We see FIRST as a natural after-school extension of a student's involvement in STEM curriculum during the school day. We hope that by engaging with Rockwell Automation engineers and other technical professionals in a hands-on, real-world experience, these young people will be encouraged to pursue careers in engineering and technology."

"Rockwell Automation's increased sponsorship of FIRST at all levels furthers our goal to inspire energy and enthusiasm for science and technology. It clearly demonstrates their commitment to play a leadership role in workforce development by helping to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers," said FIRST President Paul R. Gudonis.

The FIRST Robotics Competition program teams high-school students with mentors to design, build, and test a robot to meet an annual engineering challenge. Over 1,300 teams in seven countries will participate in 2007. The Innovation in Control Award celebrates the most unique control system or application of control components to provide innovative machine functions for a team's robot. The award will be presented to one team at each of the competition's 37 regional events and at the season's culmination, the FIRST Championship, which takes place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 12-14.

FIRST is a not-for-profit public charity that helps young people discover the rewards and excitement of science and technology. FIRST programs include the FIRST Robotics Competition - the leading high-school robotics program; the FIRST Vex Challenge, an intermediate robotics competition for high-school students; and the FIRST LEGO League for 9 to 14 year-olds. In the 2006-07 season, FIRST will reach over 130,000 young people in 45 countries.

Since its beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students and academic communities. Research has shown that FIRST students' attitudes about science, math, teamwork, and the working world significantly improved after participating. The students' self image also improved, particularly in minority groups. In addition, interest in internship and employment opportunities with sponsoring companies increased.


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 and FIRST Vex Challenge for high-school students, the FIRST LEGO([R]) League for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), is a leading global provider of automation, power, control, and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., U.S.A., the company employs about 23,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 22, 2007
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