Vision of FIRST
"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." - Dean Kamen
"Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a program for students aged 6-18. It is the most rewarding adventure any student, mentor, advisor or sponsor will ever undertake. FIRST is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology,and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2009-2010 FIRST season attracted more than 210,000 youth and more than 90,000 mentors, coaches, and volunteers from 56 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
FIRST®: IT'S MORE THAN ROBOTS
FIRST®: It’s More Than Robots!
Ask someone who is involved with FIRST® – whether it’s a Mentor, Volunteer, student, Sponsor, parent, or anyone in between – about what initially piqued their interest, and it’s likely that robots factor in somewhere. However, if you ask this diverse group of people what they got out of their participation, the responses would likely have nothing to do with electro-mechanical machines of any kind.
The truth is: FIRST is “More Than Robots.”
The FIRST experience is undoubtedly (but perhaps unexpectedly) multi-faceted, and oftentimes presents a profoundly personal journey for the individual. For more than 25 years, FIRST has been influencing cultural change by introducing young people to the fun and boundless career possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Each year we find that – for many participants –FIRST helps to diminish self-doubt and ultimately inspires hope for a brighter future. Teams become families, FIRST seasons become lifelong memories, and skills learned become the foundation for lucrative careers. You certainly can’t program a robot to provide all of that (yet)!
If you’re going to the FIRST Championship this year, we encourage you to stop and ask a FIRST participant why it’s “More Than Robots.” We’re willing to bet that each response will be unique, and will give you some insight into how the participant has made FIRST “work” for them.