Daimler Trucks North America has awarded $225,000 to fund FIRST robotics programs in Oregon and Southwest Washington. A combination of elementary, middle, and high schools comprise the 44 northwestern schools to each receive support either to start a new FIRST team or to boost an existing team up to a more competitive advantage in the 2016/17 school year. In addition to receiving funds for a FIRST team, when feasible by location, some selected schools will have Daimler engineers volunteering as mentors to the teams.

Congratulations to this year's recipients!

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Grant money has been offered to the following schools.  Recipients must accept the grant terms in order to receive funding.


Grades 4-8

In FIRST LEGO League (FLL), children are immersed in real-world science and technology challenges. Teams design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous LEGO robots that perform a series of missions. Through their participation, children develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning that they can make a positive contribution to society.

Children ages 9 to 14 get to:

  • Create innovative solutions for challenges facing today’s scientists as part of their research project
  • Strategize, design, build, program, and test a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Develop employment and life skills including critical thinking, time management, collaboration, and communication while becoming more self-confident
  • Become involved in their local and global community
  • Choose to participate in official tournaments and local events
  • Potentially qualify for an invitation to World Festival

FIRST Lego League funding includes registration fees, set-up kit, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, competition table, team shirts, presentation supplies, and more. Value: $1,200 per team. This program has a fall season so the award would apply to fall 2016 with the option of preparing for that season earlier in 2016.



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FIRST Tech Challenge

Grades 7-12

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is designed for high -school students who want to compete head- to- head using a sports model. Teams of up to 15 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX® platform that is reusable from year-to-year using a variety of languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

Students activities include:

  • Design, build, and program robots
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances at tournaments
  • Potentially earn a place in the World Championship

FIRST Tech Challenge funding includes registration/program fees, control system/robot base kit, spare parts, raw materials & tools, field walls/tiles and annual field elements. Value: $2,800 per team. This program has a fall season so the award would apply to fall 2016 with the option of preparing for that season earlier in 2016.



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FIRST Robotics Competition

Grades 9-12

Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™ FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.

Students activities include:

  • Work alongside professional engineers
  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design
  • Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software
  • Develop design, project management, programming, teamwork, and strategic thinking skills
  • Potentially earn a place in the district or national Championship

FIRST Robotics Competition funding includes team registration fees, Robot construction supplies, laptop, practice field construction, tools, pit construction, safety glasses, documentation/printing, team uniforms, printing/postage costs, office supplies, button maker, fundraising expenses, trailer, bus expenses, meals, and more. Value: $18,100 per team. This program has a winter season so the award would apply to winter 2016 with expenditures starting in December 2015.



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Volunteer Information

Whether you have four hours or four months, technical or non-technical expertise, there are volunteer opportunities for everyone. For more information, please contact Cindy at clebeau@usfirst.org

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About Daimler Trucks North America

Since launching the Daimler Education in Motion campaign in 2013, Daimler Trucks North America has donated over $1 million dollars and countless volunteer time to support educational programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Portland where the company has been headquartered for over 70 years.

Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.


FIRST (for inspiration and recognition of science and technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Programs range from kindergarten to high school and scholarships of over 20 million are available for higher education. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

How does this happen? By creating a fun and interesting atmosphere, mentors and volunteers work with teams of students to design, develop and compete at events with robots. They learn about team work, problem solving, innovation and leadership.

Founder, Dean Kamen, is transforming our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.


ORTOP was founded in 2001 to give children who may not otherwise consider technical careers an opportunity to gain confidence and build skills at an early age. ORTOP's mission is to open doors to the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Oregon's youth by providing educational opportunities featuring robotics with special emphasis on maximizing the diversity of those participating.

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