Answering the call to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational opportunities, PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), The Product Development Company®, today announced its continued support of FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC®). Building on previous years of support, PTC will sponsor over 85 FRC teams, 23 FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) teams, and 14 FIRST® LEGO® League teams during the current 2011-2012 season.
Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC will speak at the 2012 FRC Kickoff event on January 7 where this year's FRC game will be unveiled during a live broadcast to tens of thousands of worldwide participants on NASA TV 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
"PTC is a fantastic Strategic Partner of FIRST. As a company, they are fully committed to the values of FIRST and share our goal of helping students develop skills to become tomorrow's innovators and engineers," said Jon Dudas, president,FIRST. "PTC provides the same CAD and Collaboration software for students used by more than 27,000 global manufacturing companies, allowing students to develop the engineering skills that are in high demand."
Reaching more than 294,000 students in grades K-12 annually, FIRST has designed accessible, innovative, mentor-based STEM programs. These programs inspire young people to think, design and create something physical using their engineering knowledge and skills. As a Strategic Partner to FIRST, PTC provides free software, including Creo®, Mathcad® and Windchill®, to all participating FIRST teams. Offering Windchill in the cloud to FIRST FRC and FTC teams since 2008 has allowed thousands of students to collaborate on their designs anytime, anywhere.
"The robot and the game are complicated, which requires The Buchanan Bird Brains, Team #1671, to put in place a real-world design and collaboration process in order to create a product under the pressure of time and competition. PTC and FIRST create an experience for the students on this team to develop life-long skills that are critical for their success," said Paul Lake, FIRST Robotics Coach, Buchanan High School.
"The design and build timeframe for the 2012 FRC season is a fast-paced six weeks," said Robin Saitz, SVP, solutions marketing & communications and FIRST Executive Sponsor, PTC. "These six weeks provide some of the most intense, valuable training for these students as they learn how to work together as a team to deliver a functional robot for competition. PTC is a proud, strong supporter of FIRST because we consider FIRST to be one of the best investments we can make in the future."