More than 46,000 Students Worldwide to Build Robots and STEM Skills with FIRST® Tech Challenge VELOCITY VORTEXSM Presented by Qualcomm

4,600+ Teams of Students Tackle New Challenge During 2016/17 Season

(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an
international, K-12 not-for-profit organization founded to inspire young
people’s interest and participation in science and technology, launched
its 2016/17 FIRST®
Tech Challenge
season with an online game reveal on September 10.
Teams of students and adult Mentors gathered at 70+ international
Kickoff events to get a first glimpse of this season’s game: VELOCITY
Presented by Qualcomm Incorporated. An estimated
46,000 students on 4,600 teams in 17 countries around the world will
participate this season.

FIRST Strategic Partner Qualcomm
is the Season Presenting Sponsor for the 2016/17 FIRST Tech
Challenge. A commitment to teams, via direct funding and time donated by
hundreds of Qualcomm employees, helps inspire tens of thousands of FIRST
students each year. Qualcomm directly
events, programs, and thousands of teams globally.

“Qualcomm has been a proud supporter of FIRST for more than ten
years, and we are so excited to continue expanding our support of FIRST
Tech Challenge,” said Navrina Singh, director of product management,
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Over the past two years, our engineering
and product teams have worked very closely with FIRST to
reimagine, develop and improve the control system with the latest mobile
technologies. And this year, we are thrilled to increase our commitment
to the program as the Season Presenting Sponsor of the FIRST Tech
Challenge VELOCITY VORTEX season.”

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), FIRST Tech Challenge is one of the
fastest-growing programs of its kind.

“The great thing about the FIRST Tech Challenge program is that
it is the perfect complement to the classroom,” said FIRST
President Donald E. Bossi. “Throughout their journey this season,
students will develop a deeper understanding of STEM skills, as well as
valuable career and life skills, which is why 200 colleges, universities
and other providers make $30
million in scholarships
available to FIRST students.”

In the 2016/17 game, VELOCITY
, teams work in an Alliance to score points against their
opponents by placing small balls, called particles, into two different
types of vortexes, including a Center Vortex on a rotatable stand in the
center of the field. Robots can also light beacons with their Alliance’s
color, and in the final 30 seconds of the match, raise a large ball off
of the playing field and place the ball in their Center Vortex.

“We’re excited to bring VELOCITY VORTEX to the FIRST community,”
said Ken Johnson, Director, FIRST Tech Challenge. “This year,
teams can use vision processing and a variety of sensors to really build
innovative designs. The capability of the Android operating system
coupled with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor at
the heart of the control system
means teams have no limit on their

Need-based grants supported by Qualcomm and other Sponsors are now
available for new and returning FIRST Tech Challenge teams
participating in the 2016/17 season. Click here
for more information about team grants.

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

inventor Dean
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, NH, 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 $30 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition
for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge
for Grades 7-12; FIRST®
LEGO® League
for Grades 4-8; and FIRST®
LEGO® League Jr.
for Grades K-4. Gracious
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

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST®
Tech Challenge, and VELOCITY VORTEXSM are trademarks of For
Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®).
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 FIRST.
All rights reserved.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated,
registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm Snapdragon
is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Brooke Blew, 603-206-2048
Dunn, 603-666-2494