FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills
The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of high school students and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week time frame using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules.
FIRST redefines winning for these students. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.
"FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehical for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing waht to expect - of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future"
- Dean Kamen