MANCHESTER, N.H.–FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators and engineers, and PTC®, The Product Development Company®, announced today that PTC has agreed to a three-year sponsorship of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) program.
As the CAD and Collaboration sponsor, PTC will provide its Pro/ENGINEER®, Mathcad®, Windchill®, and ProductView™ CAD and collaboration software to all FTC teams at no cost. This software will allow teams to build their robots in a virtual environment using models of parts supplied in the FTC Competition Kit. The groups will also be able to collaborate within their own teams, with other teams, and with mentors and industry sponsors using PTC’s Windchill.
The sponsorship also includes a named design award, recognizing teams that use innovative design approaches in their solution. The PTC Design Award recognizes design elements of the FTC robot that are both functional and aesthetic.
“The challenge for tomorrow’s engineers will not only be to build great products but to collaborate, prototype, and refine their designs digitally before the actual build. PTC’s sponsorship allows FTC teams to use the tools to do this as part of the FTC competition,” said Ken Johnson, director, FIRST Tech Challenge. ”It is our hope that FTC will be in every high school in the world. It is very affordable and scales quickly into schools, districts, states, and national competitions.”
Paul R. Gudonis, president of FIRST, said, “We are very pleased to have PTC support our FIRST Tech Challenge program by signing-on as the three-year CAD and Collaboration Sponsor and providing robust software to our teams. PTC’s innovative product design software tools will significantly enhance the quality of the robot build experience for our FTC teams and gives them exposure to real-world design applications as they design, build, and test the robots competing at these events.”
“PTC is very excited about the expansion of its partnership with FIRST into the FIRST Tech Challenge program. PTC is delighted to provide not only our software and curriculum to these teams, but also access to our eco-system of customers, partners, and employees that are equally committed to inspiring students to pursue technology and engineering professions,” said James Heppelmann, executive vice president and chief product officer, PTC.
PTC software is immediately available to all FTC teams. FTC teams can get access by visiting http://www.ptc.com/go/first/. This page also provides links to online tutorials to help teams get started.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a challenging mid-level robotics competition designed for high-school-aged students who want a hands-on learning experience to develop and hone their skills and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math. FTC was designed for teams who want the same real-world challenges as the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC); but who require a more affordable build kit and more geographically accessible events. FIRST Tech Challenge is an ideal next step for students moving from FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) or prior to participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).