"FIRST® is more than robots. 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 season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future"
-Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST®
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST® Mission Statement:
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.
To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.
Engage kids in kindergarten through high school in exciting, mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society.
Gracious Professionalism™ is part of the ethos of FIRST®. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism™, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.
In the long run, Gracious Professionalism™ is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.
Coopertition® produces innovation. At FIRST®, Coopertition® is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition® is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.
Coopertition® involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition® means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.
FIRST® Core Values:
We express the FIRST® philosophies of Gracious Professionalism™ and Coopertition® through our Core Values:
Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
FIRST® is proud to receive special recognition as part of their continued work to inspire children to explore science and technology.