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Apr 6, 2011

PTC Collaborates with FIRST ® and the American International School of Bucharest to Launch the FIRST ® Tech Challenge

BUCHAREST, Romania - PTC, The Product Development Company®, is collaborating with FIRST® and the American International School of Bucharest to pilot a FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) competition in Bucharest.

The competition will take place on April 2 at the American International School of Bucharest, bringing together four FTC teams representing top international schools from Eastern Europe, including the American International School of Bucharest; the Anglo-American School of Sofia; the American International School of Zagreb; and the American School of Warsaw.

James Heppelmann, PTC President and CEO, and a member of the FIRST National Executive Advisory Board, stated, "PTC strongly supports FIRST and what it represents for our collective future. The way the students work together to pool their resources and skills and help each and every team compete to their best ability is inspiring. FIRST is an exemplary program that creates shared value for the students and for PTC."

FIRST Tech Challenge is a mid-level robotics competition designed for high school-students who want a hands-on learning experience to develop and hone their skills and abilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Reaching more than 250,000 students worldwide annually, FIRST has designed accessible, innovative, Mentor-based programs that give students the opportunity to apply science and technology concepts learned in the classroom to ‘real-world' engineering problems. Students work on open-ended challenges and create their own solutions, while developing teamwork, presentation and business skills.

According to John D. Stuart, Senior VP, Global Education, and PTC Romania Country Manager, "The FIRST Tech Challenge program for high schools is one of the best programs in the world for developing the scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians of the future. We are grateful to FIRST and the American International School of Bucharest for collaborating with PTC to bring this program to Eastern Europe. The long-term effect will be an expansion of this program across Romania and all of Eastern Europe thanks to their leadership."

This year's FTC game, GET OVER IT!TM, is a sports-type competition involving rolling goals, mountain-like obstacles, balancing and sensors. In addition to scoring points, winners must demonstrate critical thinking, strategy, and oral and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work as part of a community.

PTC has provided training for all the teams involved in the competition as well as free creo-elements-pro/">CreoTM Elements/ProTM software for designing and building the robots. The training, which consisted of hands-on workshops, was organized onsite between January and February 2011. The teams also have had access to calculation software, Mathcad and to the Windchill collaboration platform.

Ken Johnson, Director, FIRST Tech Challenge, notes, "We are pleased that PTC is able to bring FIRST Tech Challenge to Romania. PTC has a successful track record of bringing together the key ingredients of implementing a successful FTC international launch. This includes world-class customers, universities, schools and PTC employees to volunteer and manage a pilot and then a roll-out in Romania."