For 23 years, United Technologies employees have volunteered their time to mentor students through FIRST – a non-profit founded in 1989 to inspire students worldwide to pursue education and employment opportunities in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.
UTC and its employee mentors have much to be proud of this season:
• 250+ employees mentored at least one team each – many mentored multiple teams
• 205 teams received UTC grant funding for their teams’ registration
• 75 FIRST Robotics teams advanced through their Regional and District Championships, receiving additional UTC grant funding
• UTC’s total team and tournament support enabled 4,000 students to contend
Comprising four divisions – LEGO League, Jr. for grades K-4; LEGO League for grades 4-8; Tech Challenge for grades 7-12; and a Robotics Competition for grades 9-12 – FIRST presents participants with a specific challenge each school year. UTC coaches, mentors and volunteers teach students about engineering design and programming while simultaneously instilling values and skills such as teamwork, strategic thinking, self-advocacy and project management. FIRST also strengthens the school-to-career pipeline; this is especially true for its Robotics team members.
Each winter, FIRST Robotics announces a challenge theme and “playing field.” Teams receive the same build-kit and work with their mentors and coaches to design and construct their robot. They compete in local, regional and statewide competitions through April culminating in the FIRST Robotics World Championship.
Through hands-on learning, FIRST inspires the next generation of innovators and inventors; UTC is proud that our legacy with FIRST exposes students to the endless application of STEM disciplines and illustrates our multi-faceted investment in their success.