NASHUA, N.H.–()–BAE Systems will sponsor a new, nation-wide annual scholarship and internship program to enhance opportunities for high school seniors that plan to seek a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The BAE Systems FIRST® Scholarship Program will grant a total of $40,000 in scholarships to eight students that are pursuing an undergraduate degree in a technology or engineering field. As part of the scholarship, students will also be awarded a paid summer internship at BAE Systems.

“Our involvement with FIRST Robotics enables us to recruit high-potential students that pursue STEM degrees and careers,” said Lisa Aucoin, vice president of engineering at BAE Systems. “The scholarship program allows us to invest in these students, not only monetarily, but also through the internship experience, creating a vital talent pipeline for our business.”

Traditional scholarship programs provide funding to new students each year and are often in the form of a single grant. The BAE Systems FIRST Scholarship Program grants $5,000 scholarships to new students each year, but breaks the funds into increments that span the course of four years. This unique format allows BAE Systems to support the development of the students and invest in their education each year as they work toward a degree.

The program also supports students outside of the classroom, as each scholarship includes a paid internship at the company. The three-month summer internship offers hands-on experience to work on projects and programs with a leading technology company.

“BAE Systems continues to help inspire the next generation of America's scientists, engineers, technicians and mathematicians with its support of FIRST Robotics,” said Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition. “This scholarship program only builds on that support, as it will open doors for young people to develop the skills they need to be innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers to make the world a better place.”

The scholarships are awarded annually in April to those that have been on a FIRST Robotics team sponsored by the company’s Electronic Systems sector within the past two years. The participants are selected in geographical areas where BAE Systems has a significant presence: Nashua, New Hampshire; Burlington, Massachusetts; Endicott, New York; San Diego, California; Totowa, New Jersey; Greenlawn, New York; Manassas, Virginia; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Austin, Texas, and will be administered by Scholarship America®.

The launch of the BAE Systems FIRST Scholarship Program marks the 50-year anniversary of the historic first lunar landing. Much like this historic moment, the company hopes its support will inspire a new generation to dream up the next giant leap in space discovery. This commitment helps pave the way for students to learn how to invent, work together, and engineer – all skills used to innovate for a better tomorrow.

The BAE Systems FIRST Scholarship Program is the latest in a long line of company support for FIRST Robotics, which began more than 25 years ago. Since then, the company has donated more than $9 million to FIRST teams and events and it sponsors over 160 teams across the country. BAE Systems also works with FIRST to help fuel its talent pipeline, as more than 30 percent of its college new hires have experience with the organization.

FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – Robotics is a national organization that has a mission to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Founded in 1989, the organization designs mentor-based research and robotics programs that help to build skills in the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.

Students interested in a scholarship can apply or learn more online.

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