SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – April 4, 2011 – The Motorola Solutions Foundation (formerly the Motorola Foundation), the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI), continues its commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through $820,000 in grants to sponsor 13 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and 310 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams around the world. For 20 years, Motorola has supported FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” This year the company also has dedicated 50 volunteers to provide hands-on mentorship experiences.
- FRC engages students in hands-on technology and engineering by organizing mentor-led teams to participate in the annual competition. Teams are given six weeks to design and build a robot that can perform competitive functions. From more than 2,000 teams around the globe, the most sportsmanlike and innovative teams are selected to compete at a single annual championship.
- The Motorola Solutions Foundation grant supported the 2010-2011 season for FLL and Junior FLL, grades K-8, and FRC and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), grades 9-12.
- Three Motorola Solutions Foundation FRC teams already have been selected to advance to the Championship:
- Based on its members’ commitment to sportsmanship and community service, including their dedication to providing the people of Haiti with clean water, Team 329 from Patchogue, N.Y., was honored with the Chairman's Award, solidifying its advancement to the Championship.
- Team 111, with members from Rolling Meadows and Wheeling, Ill., won the Midwest Regional and the Wisconsin Regional Competitions, sending it to the Championship. Team 111 represents the largest FRC team in the world and demonstrates sportsmanship by hosting competitions for other teams in the area, giving local teams valuable opportunities to improve their machines before the regional competitions.
- Team 108 from Miami, Fla., won the Florida Regional, qualifying it for the Championship. This is a great success since the team is mostly made up of high school freshmen. Team 108 also mentors other FIRST Robotics teams for middle school students in its area.
- FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young boys and girls to be science and technology leaders. The organization engages them in inspiring innovation through mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, while fostering life skills such self-confidence, communication and leadership. Today, nearly 248,000 students benefit from FIRST programs every year.
- In response to a recent National Science Foundation study that found that only 19 percent of the undergraduates studying engineering are women, the Motorola Solutions Foundation partnered with 138 Girl Scout FLL teams, introducing thousands of young women across the United States to hands-on engineering principles.
- 150 of the 310 FLL teams were from outside the United States.
- A primary focus of the Motorola Solutions Foundation is STEM education. In addition to its FIRST support, the Motorola Solutions Foundation continues to support its signature Innovation Generation Grant Program, designed to inspire students to learn about science and generate interest in science-related careers. Beyond funding, the program links recipients of the Innovation Generation grants to each other, bringing together grantees and leaders in STEM education to share best practices, leverage resources and cultivate an informed frontline of advocates to move the U.S. STEM education agenda forward.
Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation
“At Motorola Solutions, we have a passion for STEM. FIRST is an excellent opportunity for our employees to interact with the community and share their talents with America’s youth. We are thrilled to see the impact an engineer’s mentoring time has on the passion of a student considering a career in engineering. It’s truly motivating.”
About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/giving.