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 over 10,000 students statewide. But FIRST is #MoreThanRobots.
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
Team Duct Tape is one of over 3300 FIRST Tech Challenge teams, but FIRST serves far more students across the K-12 community. Overall reach for all programs combined:
- 460,000+ students
- 52,000+ teams
- 40,000+ robots created
- 120,000+ Mentors/adult supporter roles filled
- 110,000+ other Volunteer roles filled (e.g. event Volunteers, Affiliate Partners, VISTAs)
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!