Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
Since its beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students and academic communities. Participating high-school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for more than $25 million in scholarships from leading universities, colleges, and companies. Research has shown that FIRST significantly improves students’ attitudes about math and science and fosters a culture of teamwork, leadership, and self-confidence. FIRST participants are more likely to attend college, go on to major in science or engineering, and pursue careers in engineering.
With the support of many of the world's most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization promotes the concepts of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. FIRST is not about building better robots, it's about building better kids.