FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization, that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today.
FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen who invented the Segway Human Transporter. FIRST operates Robotics Competitions in which teams of high school students, sponsored and assisted by local companies and volunteers design, assemble, and test a robot capable of performing a specified task in competition with other teams. FIRST also runs the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), for children 9-14 years old, and “FIRST Place” – an innovative science and technology center, including a hands-on children’s science museum.
FIRST was founded on partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, and government. Many Fortune 500 companies provide funding with in-kind donations and volunteers to support the program.
The key to FIRST’s success is the work of over 25,000 volunteer mentors, professional engineers, teachers, and other adults working with students across the country. In addition to the thousands of volunteer team mentors, FIRST competitions and other events were organized and staffed by over 14,000 event and committee volunteers. Through these volunteers, FIRST programs engaged over 70,000 young people during the last year. FIRST programs are growing rapidly in the United States and Canada, and the demand is accelerating in other countries.