PTC Underscores Commitment to STEM and Expands Partnership with FIRST

21 Oct, 2008

Partnerships committed to core education and providing career paths for students.

PTC announced today that it would expand its sponsorship of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), building upon the company's inaugural sponsorship of the 2008 FIRST Robotics Competition.

FIRST strives to engage students in grades K-12 in exciting and innovative programs designed around the use of robotics to develop science and technology skills and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, and engineering. The goals of FIRST align with PTC's commitment to advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives to strengthen core education fundamentals and provide career paths.

As part of its 2009 sponsorship, PTC will cosponsor the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff event and will cosponsor ten new teams with PTC customers. The company is also sponsoring scholarship funds to be awarded to students interested in studying STEM disciplines at the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology.

"We're excited to recognize PTC's expanded relationship with FIRST as a second year sponsor and the highest level supplier -- Crown level -- of the FIRST Robotics Competition," said Paul R. Gudonis, president of FIRST. "When a company expands sponsorship, particularly during challenging economic times, it reinforces the value that FIRST provides to the students and the sponsors in multiple ways. Firstly, it demonstrates that the programs are achieving their objectives by attracting more teams and sponsors. Secondly, it shows the students that industry is committed to investing time, resources and technology to help them to develop the technology and life skills that will help them to succeed in their future careers."

James Heppelmann, executive vice-president and chief product officer of PTC, is serving as a member of the national FIRST executive advisory board. "The FIRST experience leaves an indelible impression on all participants -- students, coaches, mentors, volunteers and sponsors. The enthusiasm of the teams in the pit areas is contagious and watching the students work together, pooling skills and resources to help each team compete, is inspiring," said Heppelmann. "The ability to collaborate and share information across teams and boundaries is a critical success factor for product development organizations. FIRST is helping to develop the skilled technology workforce of the future and PTC is proud to continue sponsorship of this important initiative."