Jun 8, 2011

PTC and NRB Bearings join with FIRST® and Techtronics Education to launch the Second FIRST® Tech Challenge Robotics Competition in India

Mumbai: PTC and NRB Bearing Ltd in partnership with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Techtronics Education today announced the launch of the second FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) in India, a mid level robotics competition targeted towards high school students.

The primary objective of this competition is to cultivate interest and to improve skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the school level. A mentor based program, FTC allows participants to implement the theories learnt in classrooms to solve practical engineering problems. Techtronics Education, being the FIRST Tech Challenge India Program partner will organize the FTC 2011 and will train the mentors on the FTC competition challenges. PTC and NRB Bearings are founder sponsors instrumental in launching the FIRST® Tech Challenge for the first time in India in May, 2010 which saw remarkable traction among middle schools in Maharashtra, establishing FTC as an opportunity for educational and industrial exposure for the students of the state. This year, FTC will see almost 70% increase in the number of teams participating in the competition, with around 25 schools and 40 teams. The format of the competition is now national, with regional competitions in the North, South and Western regions of the country.

“PTC is proud to be part of an exemplary program like FIRST® Tech Challenge that allows middle and high school students to explore their competence in engineering under the guidance of trained industry experts”, said Mr. Rafiq Somani, Area Vice President, PTC India. “The practical application of the knowledge and guidance from industry mentors is excellent exposure for participants at this stage and will allow students to not only understand their potential in this space but also encourage them to consider STEM as a future course of study. India is set to become an innovation led economy, and we want to ensure that our students are well equipped to lead us into the future”

“NRB Bearings is glad to be a part of the FIRST® Tech Challenge in India in partnership with PTC. There has been a rising demand for engineers over the past years and with cutting edge innovation, this need will rise in future. Competitions like FTC help us develop interest for science and technology among the youth of today. Through the association with PTC and FIRST®, NRB Bearings is keen to reach out to schools across the country and provide them with an opportunity to work with skilled mentors”, said Ms. Harshbeena S. Zhaveri, President and the Chief Executive Officer, NRB Bearings Ltd.

“FIRST® Tech Challenge is a step ahead in our endeavor to promote the study of STEM among the youth. FIRST® Tech Challenge is one of the most recognized programs for high school students in the world. We aim at ensuring that every student in India has access to the FIRST® program as it serves as an excellent platform for students to realize their potential”, said John D. Stuart, Senior VP, Global Education, PTC. “This partnership with FIRST®, NRB Bearings, and Techtronics Education has provided us with an opportunity to reach out to the creative and talented minds beyond socio-economic status in the past and the scale has only grown this year. Through such programs around STEM-based initiatives, PTC is aiming to reach out to the young minds that will shape the future of the world.”

“Activity based learning is an important initiative to augment the school education system in India. Techtronics Education has been a pioneer in this field and we feel that robotics offers a unique platform which lends itself very well to activity based learning. Robotics competitions like FTC are very useful forums to bring together children to experience the power of robotics and learn new skills in a fun filled manner”, said Sudhanshu Sharma, MD of Techtronics Education (India).