FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nationwide effort to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
Check out the national FIRST Robotics website.
FIRST has resulted in:
- 515,000+ students on 59,000+ teams worldwide
- 255,000+ mentors, coaches, judges, and volunteers
- Over 19,000,000 volunteer hours
- +$70,000,000 in scholarship opportunities from over 200 providers
- 2,900+ official events across 83 countries
- 65,000+ participants at the annual FIRST Championship (in Detroit in 2018-2020)
- FIRST participants are over 2x as likely to show an increased interest in STEM
- 87 percent of participants plan to take more challenging math or science courses
- STEM knowledge continues to grow the longer kids stay in FIRST
- Females in FIRST have a dramatically increased understanding of STEM
- FIRST alumni are 2.6x more likely to enroll in an engineering course their freshman year
- Over 75 percent of FIRST alumni are in a STEM field as a student or professional
- FIRST increases workforce skills substantially:
- 76 percent in communication
- 93 percent in conflict resolution
- 95 percent in time management
- 98 percent in problem solving
“FIRST is more than robotics. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect — of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first session, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future”
- Dean Kamen, founder, FIRST