The Power of FIRST
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, this not-for-profit public organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while gaining self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. FIRST® K-12 STEM education programs use robot challenges to build science and technology skills and interests,in a character driven program that also inspires self-confidence, leadership, and life skills . In Florida, FIRST serves nearly 10,000 students statewide.
With support from a comprehensive network of Fortune 500 corporations, educational and professional institutions, foundations, and individuals, FIRST provides more than $18 million in college scholarships. Programs include FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12 – the program that Team Duct Tape is a part of – FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO®League Jr. ( FLL Jr. ®) for Grades K-3.
In April, the four programs culminate in the FIRST Championship, an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, build on their self-confidence, make new friends, and perhaps discover exciting new career paths.
FIRST at a Glance
Overall Reach – All Programs Combined (projected for the 2015-16 season)
- 400,000+ students
200,000+ Volunteer roles filled
In 2011, about 2.5 million service robots were sold for personal and domestic use, 15% more than in 2010, with a 19% increase in sales to the tune of $636 million. Demand for robotics in life sciences, pharmaceutical and biomedical industry is up 61% (Robotics Industry Association). There were over 200 robotics company startups nationwide in the last couple of years.
We’re making the future – Now!