HARTFORD, Conn. – United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) has granted $17,000 multi-year scholarships to three Connecticut high schools participating in the FIRST National Robotics Competition.
Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Westhill High School in Stamford, and Kent School in Kent, each received the grants in support of their competition activities, beginning at the 2009 FIRST Connecticut Regional competition. The scholarships will defray equipment, travel and other competition-related expenses.
“FIRST robotics competitions inspire students to look at science and technology in new and rewarding ways,” said Andrea Doane, director UTC’s corporate citizenship and community investment. “Programs like FIRST offer the opportunity to invest in the next generation of engineers, research and science professionals essential to UTC’s continued success.”
“We thank United Technologies for their gift, which will allow our students a much-needed opportunity to explore the wonders and power of science and technology,” said Matthew Austin, Kent School faculty member and FIRST mentor. “We look forward to the challenges and rewards the robotics competition will offer to both our students and the greater Kent School community.”
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a high school robotics tournament where teams of students work with teachers and engineering mentors to complete a major technical design challenge. Teams compete for trophies, honors and awards in a spirited, sport-like competition.
UTC has contributed nearly $3 million to FIRST since 1995. In 1999 UTC’s lead sponsorship established the Connecticut Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. This year, from March 26 to 28, some 60 to 80 high school teams from New England, New York and Florida will compete at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, one of 40 regional events leading to the 2009 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in April. UTC employees, who each year volunteer approximately 27,000 hours to FIRST in North America, participate as mentors and judges.
Earlier this year UTC announced it will provide a scholarship for an “all girls” team to compete in FIRST in 2010, in partnership with the Connecticut Technology Council.
United Technologies Corp. provides energy efficient products and services to aerospace and building industries. UTC’s products include Carrier heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems and industrial products, Otis elevators and escalators, Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Sikorsky helicopters, UTC Fire & Security systems and UTC Power fuel cells. UTC has been on the list of Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World since 2005 and a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since the indexes began in 1999.