BAE Systems was recently honored with the 2008 Founders Award from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) during the Championship event held in Atlanta, Ga. on April 19. The award, presented by FIRST founder Dean Kamen, commemorates the efforts of the recipient for exceptional service in advancing the ideals and mission of FIRST.
"The honor that this award recognizes really belongs to the employees of BAE Systems who served as mentors, coaches, sponsors and judges," said Walt Havenstein president and chief executive officer of BAE Systems, Inc. and a member of FIRSTs board of directors. "We are privileged and remain committed to supporting FIRST not only because it provides the best opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists, but also because it is a lot of fun."
During the 2008 season, the company supported 71 teams located near company sites in 13 states and the District of Columbia, from which 24 BAE Systems-sponsored teams competed at the Championship. BAE Systems also sponsored seven of the 41 regional competitions culminating in the FIRST Championship.
Past recipients of the Founders Award include: FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, NASA, The LEGO Group, United Technologies Corporation and Walt Disney Co.
BAE Systems also congratulates three company-sponsored teams that received awards at the FIRST Championship in Atlanta:
Wissahickon High School of Ambler, Pa., winners of the "Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award" for developing "the framework for a comprehensive business plan in order to scope, manage and obtain team objectives" while displaying "entrepreneurial enthusiasm and the vital business skills for a self-sustaining program," according to FIRST.
Waialua High School of Waialua, Hawaii, winners of the "Engineering Inspiration Award" for "outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school as well as their community" and the extent and inventiveness of the teams efforts to recruit students to engineering, the teams community outreach efforts and the measurable success of those efforts, FIRST says.
Utica Community Schools of Sterling Heights, Mich., part of an alliance of three schools, who collaborated for winning both the Galileo Division and the Championship.
In January, BAE Systems increased its contribution to FIRST to more than $1 million annually through donations of money, resources and employees volunteering. By increasing the level of support BAE Systems became a "Strategic Partner" of FIRST and the largest corporate contributor to the FIRST Robotics Competition.
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.
To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.