More than 50,000 Students Worldwide Use “Game-Changing” Technology to Tackle New FIRST® Tech Challenge Game, FIRST® RES-Q℠

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5,000+ Teams of Students to Use New Java-Based Android Platform
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Processor During 2015/16 Season

MANCHESTER, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FIRST®
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an
international not-for-profit K-12 organization founded to inspire young
people’s interest and participation in science and technology, launched
its 2015/2016 FIRST®
Tech Challenge
(FTC®) season with an online game
reveal on September 12. FTC teams gathered at 65 international Kickoff
events to get a first glimpse of this season’s game: FIRST®
RES-QSM
. An estimated 51,500 students on 5,150 teams
around the world will participate in the 2015/2016 season.

Earlier
this year, FIRST announced
the adoption of a game-changing
technology platform to be rolled out for the 2015/2016 FIRST Tech
Challenge season. The new platform features robot and driver-station
controls based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™
410 processor, which is new in the large robotics competition arena. The
new system was tested by FIRST Tech Challenge teams, and was
demonstrated at the 2015 FIRST Championship in St. Louis. The
platform, which consists of handheld devices, will be powered by these
Snapdragon 410 processors from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary
of Qualcomm Incorporated, a FIRST
Strategic Partner
.

FIRST Tech Challenge is a widely-accessible robotics program for
grades 7 through 12 that promotes project-based learning. Using a proven
formula to engage student interest in science, technology, engineering,
and math (STEM), FTC is one of the fastest-growing programs of its kind.
FTC is highly-scalable and easily integrates into the classroom with
measurable results. FIRST teams collaborate with
business, engineering, and science professionals, and working together,
become a focal point of the community in which they live.

“We are thrilled to introduce a new technology platform into our FIRST
Tech Challenge program for the 2015/2016 season,” said Donald E.
Bossi, President, FIRST. “Part of the beauty of this change is
that virtually no one is intimidated by this technology, especially
young people. This new platform means that just about everyone is
already walking around with a robot controller in their pocket. We think
this will forever change the way students look at and leverage mobile
technology.”

The
2015/16 game, FIRST® RES-QSM
, is
modeled after actual rescue situations faced by mountain explorers all
over the globe. Played by two Alliances of two robots each, robots will
score points by: “resetting” Rescue beacons; delivering Rescue Climbers
to a shelter; parking on the mountain; and parking in the Rescue beacon
repair zone or floor goal. Robots may also score points by retrieving
debris from the playing field and placing them in mountain or floor
goals, and also by hanging from a pull-up bar during the last 30-seconds
of a match.

“We are excited about this season’s game, and eager for our teams to
embrace this new technology platform,” said Ken Johnson, Director, FIRST
Tech Challenge. “As always, this season is about more than the robot.
Students will collaborate, and learn through trial-and-error – much like
a ‘real-world’ engineering project they would encounter in the
workforce.”

FIRST Tech Challenge Global Sponsors include Official Program
Sponsor, Rockwell Collins; Official IoT, CAD, and Collaboration Software
Sponsor, PTC; and Official Control System Sponsor, Qualcomm Incorporated.

About FIRST®

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 $22 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition
(FRC® ) for
students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge
(FTC® ) for Grades
7-12; FIRST®
LEGO® League
(FLL®
) for Grades 4-8; and Junior
FIRST
® LEGO®
League
(Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. 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.usfirst.org.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated,
registered in the United States and other countries.

Contacts

FIRST®
Haley Dunn, 603-206-2494
hdunn@usfirst.org