Rating: 4.83 stars 77 77 reviews 6,522
Children & Youth, Technology, Education
200 Bedford Street Manchester NH 03101 USA
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by Inventor Dean Kamen to inspire and excite secondary high school students about mathematics, science and engineering. Many companies and organizations have established bridges with local schools to help ensure the future presence of a qualified work force, few programs have been developed on the national level. One program that has, and has been very successful in its mission, is the national robotics competition of FIRST. The FIRST conducts regional and national design competitions which demonstrate that engineering, math and science can be interesting, captivating and entertaining as a sporting event.
participants master skills and concepts to aid in learning science and technology through innovative projects and robotics competitions, while gaining valuable employment and life skills.
Geographic areas served:
US and 80+ countries
Filter Reviews by Role
Promote This Nonprofit
GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!
Reviews for FIRST
Mentoring FIRST FTC teams inspired my teaching (I teach Computer Science) and invited me into the world of mechanical engineering. I saw my students learn lifelong lessons through interacting with each other, the students they competed with and the many wonderful volunteers who work in the FTC program. If an opportunity like this had been available when I was in high school it would likely have encouraged me (a female) to pursure engineering. I discovered that I LOVE building things!
First Robotics helps introduce engineering and robotics to kids and teens in a fun and competitive way, but also in a way that lets them explore the world of science, tech, marketing and engineering. First makes these fields accessible to kids who might never have thought of or pursued engineering and science. And First is a great entry for girls into STEM. And First stresses good sportsmanship and comraderie at the competition, and helps build an engaged and supportive community.
I have been so impressed with the students with whom I've interacted! Some of them joined half-heartedly and are now pursuing engineering degrees in college or have gone on to work for NASA and high-tech firms. Others were looking for a way to connect in high school and are now enthusiastic leaders of a team where they are pursuing a new-found passion. It's really wonderful to see the genuine enthusiasm and commitment these students express during the competitions and how that carries over into their school environment!
What a wonderful way for our young population to compete. This program progresses through all grade levels and ages involving its participates in competitions that inspire using STEM and creative disciplines to succeed. Building robots out of LEGO technologies for the younger kids and complicated hardware software components for the older kids. It is extremely close to real-world problem solving through engineering. What a way to build the leaders in the next generations!
As a seventh grader my older brother joined the local first team and I went to competitions with my parents I was hooked. Then when I entered 9th grade the teacher coach told me I had to join so I did. Then I was on the team for four years. Also I was on an ftc team where I was their first female captain and mainly built the bot by myself. During my senior year I helped our town start up FLL teams. After high school I became a junior mentor. I also started a JR FLL team with a teacher that I met through FRC since her daughters went through the program also. Now I am a two year old teacher and a mentor for the ftc team.
Going to regional competitions, once as an advisor and once as the parent of a middle schooler, I've been impressed with the enthusiasm of the student participants. The kids really get into the program. They want to do well, for themselves, for their teams and their schools. The kids and the mentors put in additional hours, even beyond their commitments, because they're excited by the challenge. The children show a level of engagement equal to what I've seen in school sports. They're learning how to work together and how to solve problems -- which is something students don't always get in classroom subjects. The commitment I've seen from mentors is equally impressive. As an advisor, I've heard amazing stories about how participation in FIRST has helped children, and has motivated them to major in STEM disciplines in college -- including some students who had never thought they could attend college. I'm very proud my son participated in the FIRST program!
FIRST is one of the most influential forces shaping my life. As a high school student, a small spark of interest in engineering and technology was fanned into a passion and a career by the intense fun and practical learning provided by FRC.
As a professional engineer now mentoring multiple levels of FIRST programs, I see - on a daily basis - the impact a competitive environment and a supportive community of passionate volunteers can have on students from a vast multitude of backgrounds.
This program gave me an amazing start and continues to do so year after year for thousands of bright young minds across the country and even the world.
Dean Kamen's vision of changing the culture and elevating careers science and technology to a level of admiration only given to entertainers and athletes is a noble one. And the organization he founded has executed against that vision year after year, only growing bigger and louder with each season.
2 people found this review helpful
Too many of the top teams that students look up to only care about having an "perfect image" and don't actually care about the students, mentors or any other members of FIRST. These people alone have made my experience with FIRST absolutely horrible.
I know of no other organization that does supports education and kids in such a fun way as FIRST. I first got involved as a parent, and when I saw how much fun FRC is for the kids and the mentors, I knew I had to be involved. I am not a techie and wasn't sure how I could be a part, but found my niche in helping with fundraising and providing meals for the kids on long work days. As an employee for a grade school, I suggested (ok, I begged) to the principal that we add FLL as an elective for middle school. I was shocked when she asked me to teach the class! I found that even I, a non-techie mom could coach an FLL team- and I love it!
My younger daughter has since stepped into the FIRST world as a scout on her FRC team and it has really become a family "thing." I have watched as both of my daughters have gained confidence, experience, and a purpose that they would not have found anywhere else. FIRST has empowered them and given them am amazing "resume" for their high school years. I have heard it said many times that "there is no exit strategy for FIRST" and I'm sure I will still be a part of the team even after my girls both graduate.
When I meet parents of new high school students, I always encourage them to have their kids try out FIRST. Many kids who would be lost in other programs and sports find their home there.
When I began in first. I was in 5th grade. Seeing the programming and building in First Lego League was amazing. How can a 11 year old build a robot? A better question is, why don't people understand how amazing FIRST is! There is no other program where kids as young as 6 can start working with robots. I'm on 1 of 3 Girlscout FRC teams. I makes me so sad when I see the amount of girls interested in robotics. I would just like to tell all girls who are passionate about robotics to tell all other girls, if they want to be in robotics, do it!