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Rockford Team "Makes It Loud" Through FIRST Robotics

UTC Aerospace Systems, in conjunction with support from United Technologies, were recipients of the FIRST® Robotics Make it Loud award, at the July 25 regional FIRST Rock River Off-Season Competition (R2OC), in Rockford, Illinois. The Award is given to the person/organization that has contributed the most in increasing the awareness of FIRST to the general public.

In making the announcement R2OC organizer Bob Trojan said the company's involvement goes well beyond financial support, though UTC has sponsored all three of the annual competitions at the highest, platinum level. Trojan cited the Rockford site’s involvement as team mentors for five local teams, and welcoming the teams participation in company events such as Take your Child to Work Day and Lunch on the Lawn, where they can demonstrate their robots to local families. UTC was also recognized for funding Rockford-area team attendance at the World Championship, April 22-26, in St. Louis, MO, for internships for former FIRST members, and for funding volunteer grants of employees who donate their time with the robotics teams.

In accepting the award, Bob Guirl, Director, Electric Systems Business Development, said he was proud to represent the UTC team that shares in the recognition.

“It’s important that we help students understand the success they can achieve in STEM fields, including many intriguing careers right here in northern Illinois.”

Guirl made additional remarks to open Saturday’s competition.

Tim White, president Electric Systems, thanked the many employee-mentors from the Rockford site.

“I appreciate the time and effort our employees devote to this effort, helping guide our region’s technical students, through robotics,” said White. "FIRST Robotics teaches hands-on problem solving, teamwork and innovative thinking, which are all key skills to our work here at UTC Aerospace Systems."

The competition pivoted on this year’s FIRST Robotics seasonal called Recycle Rush, in which teams score points by stacking totes, capping those stacks with recycling containers and disposing of "litter," represented by foam pool noodles. Thirty-two teams, from three states, competed. The winning alliance was Team 2826 from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Team 2481 from Tremont, Illinois.