Team Leaders, the following press release will be going out today. As you’ll read, the name change reflects an ongoing commitment to the FIRST Robotics program by one of our great sponsors. The actual name change in the various FIRST systems will happen over the next few days so if you can’t find the event under one name try the other.
Regards, Mark Lawrence
Chairman, MN FIRST Regional Planning Committee
FIRST® ROBOTICS COMPETITION REGIONAL EVENT ANNOUNCES MEDTRONIC FOUNDATION AS TITLE SPONSOR
11-Year Partnership Inspiring Minnesota’s High School Students to Pursue STEM Careers
MINNEAPOLIS – February 8, 2018 – The FIRST® Robotics Competition announced today that the Medtronic Foundation has become the title sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition regional event held annually at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. Formerly known as the 10,000 Lakes Regional, the FIRST Robotics Competition Medtronic Foundation Regional will be held March 30-31, 2018.
The FIRST Robotics Competition Medtronic Foundation Regional will be held concurrently with the FIRST Robotics Competition North Star Regional at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Together, the events annually host more than 110 FIRST Robotics Competition teams with more than 2,500 participating students. FIRST Robotics Competition teams will compete with sophisticated robots they constructed over a six-week “Build Season” in January and February.
“The FIRST Robotics Competition develops an interest and passion for STEM careers in high school students through a competitive after-school program focused on teamwork, problem solving, innovation, communication and collaboration,” said Ken Rosen, FIRST Regional Director for Minnesota. “These students represent Minnesota’s future STEM workforce who may someday fill positions as technicians, engineers and scientists at Minnesota companies.”
Since 2006, the Medtronic Foundation has been the leading supporter of the FIRST Robotics Competition in Minnesota, playing an instrumental role in the program’s growth from two to 215 teams. Today, 4,854 students representing 225 high schools throughout the state of Minnesota participate, making it the third-largest state contingent in the nation—accessible to more than 62 percent of Minnesota’s high school students. This growth led to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) becoming the first statewide sanctioning organization in the nation to recognize the FIRST Robotics Competition as a competitive activity.
In addition to regional competition support, the Medtronic Foundation helps fund 63 Minnesota the FIRST Robotics Competition teams, including many in rural areas where most teams are located and there is often little access to local funding sources. Medtronic employees also help mentor teams and volunteer at regional competitions.
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 over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® 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 www.firstinspires.org