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63 Reviews
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October 1, 2013

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October 1, 2013

I've been involved with FIRST as a judge, a coach, and a parent for over ten years now. In my opinion, THE most important thing that comes from a student's participation in FIRST is their evolution into a young person who understands and values those life skills that will lead to their personal success. I spend way too much of my personal time working with FIRST students and I wish I could spend more. I'm a professional educator and working with the students restores my faith in the next generation every year. The programs are a great combination of sport and creativity and additional mentors and coaches are always needed. That such an amazing program runs through the efforts of thousands of volunteers is just one example how valued these programs are by so many people.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

This is my 11th season as a co-coach of Mountaineer Area Robotics MARS. We enjoy competing in the Pittsburgh / Western PA tournaments. We currently mentor four teams from there. The sharing of knowledge, life skills and common bonds is outstanding in a FIRST team if the effort is put in by the coaches and mentors. Have attended 25 FIRST tournaments with my daughter and many other outstanding youth. Always a great time for them and me. Would not trade the experience for any other on a team or personal level.

We will provide mentoring and assistance to all other teams in FRC, FTC and FLL
P.Tucker MARS FRC 2614
GO MARS!! MARSFIRST.ORG

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Retention. We lose many youth in the transition between FLL serving middle school youth and their entry to high school for FTC or FRC. Our team and great mentors are only able to support 30-40 youth per year in the HS level while touching the lives of hundreds aged 9-14. We are developing FTC teams to provide opportunities for more HS youth members in North Central WV

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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October 1, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

Last year we started a FIRST Robotics Team with 7 high school students who just wanted to explore the field of competitive robotics. We had NO idea what we were getting into! After having been through the process of setting up a team, identifying mentors with experience in CAD design, Programming, Electrical Wiring and Mechanical Building, and taking those students through a six week build cycle to complete their first Regional Competition, I can say this is THE best engineering experience hands down. Over the course of the year we recruited 7 more students, raised money to fund our robotic team and got to work closely with industry professionals. Our team members learned what it's like to solve a real engineering problem with real time constraints and real resource limitations. No one is going to do it for you. Your team and the team dynamics are what you make of it. Your fundraising and team marketing is what you make of it. Your robot and your technical skills are as effective as the planning and training and effort that you put into it. It is a great model for the real working world. If you as a student want to be an engineer, this is the opportunity of a lifetime to gets hands-on experience working in a team environment on an engineering challenge that's too big for you to solve.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the FIRST website a little easier to use.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I'm a teacher at United High School in Armagh, PA. This program has helped steer many rural students, who thought they had no choice but to accept a career in local activities, to many different STEM careers. I have had many students go on to careers in engineering and computer programming as a direct result of FIRST.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013

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October 1, 2013

The FIRST Robotics program has given 4-H members a wonderful opportunity: to work together with youth from various schools, mentor youth, learn from experts in the engineering field, time management skills, decision making skills and creative development. Youth who have been involved learned a great deal from the adult mentors and industry experts who offered to help. In the community, publicity from the project created a greater awareness of opportunities in the science field and robotics in our town. As a springboard, a summer robotics camp was launched to help provide a feeder system for the high school program. All aspects of the project have been positive. The most difficult part is the funding area which is very competitive in a small community. Thank you.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to lower the cost of participation so teams could participate in more than one regional event. The cost is just prohibitive unless you have big corporations or individual donors who have a passion for robotics.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 1, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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October 1, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Why I keep coming back. The exhilaration of watching kids work together for a common goal! They believe that this is all about the “winning”. But it is about teamwork and becoming excited about science, technology, engineering and yes math too. We see young people, who say they hate these subjects; apply these skills to make the ‘bot better. In the meantime they are developing skills for the future. It’s making kids enjoy learning, interactively. As said by Bill Cosby, enjoy “but be careful you just might learn something.” And they do!! More than we can ever imagine.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

My son and I started our local FIRST LEGO League team after researching many options for character building programs for youth. We landed on FLL because it combined my desire for character building (through its impressive core values) with his desire for something practical and fun.

Our
first year has been one of the most exciting, challenging, rewarding, and insane things I have ever done.

I have never seen kids so dedicated to a program that has such practical implications for their future. These kids are learning the basics of robotics, team building, project management, work flow, and visual programming. They are also learning to dream big while still laying out the necessary steps to accomplishing that dream.

As a result of our efforts this year, the local school district is already planning and budgeting to support additional teams next year. We have a five year goal of expanding FIRST in our community to include FLL, FTC, and FRC.

On average, I volunteer 6 hours each week for FIRST. Four of those hours are hands on work with students. Two of those hours involve research and preparation using resources from FIRST and LEGO.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 11, 2012

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Review from Guidestar
October 11, 2012

FIRST LEGO League is the worst Non-profit organization that I have ever dealt with. They are rude to their volunteers and claim that the Partners in the state will provide training, medallions, etc. They provide nothing to the volunteers, teams or children. The staff in New Hampshire are incompetent and disorganized. When complaints are made against a partner they do nothing at all. I would not recommend this program to any school or community. It is expensive and does not even come close to meeting all that they claim in their marketing. Save your money and use EARLY robotics or Vex or anything else.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 6, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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September 6, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

FIRST is an amazing program that gets high school students to bring together and share their creativity, enthusiasm, hard work, dedication, and incredible smarts to build a robot which competes with other schools around the world. In order to be successful, FIRST team's need several different types of skill sets from the students, ranging from math and engineering skills to build the robots, to business and marketing skills to fundraise and get free parts from companies. One of the best things about FIRST is they don't hold tryouts to be on the team like most high school sports. If you want to be involved and show initiative, then you're on the team! FIRST is one of the best high school programs around that prepares young minds for life after high school. FIRST is paving the way for the next generation of professionals which will one day run this country.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being part of our companies sponsorship program which provides free parts to FIRST teams and awards 6 scholarships for highschool seniors who are planning on attending college.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know what could be chaged to make this program any better than it already is.

August 26, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
August 25, 2010

Two years ago I was introduced to a world I never knew existed--the world of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). I was invited to a high-school off-season robotics comp... more

August 26, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

FIRST Robotics Program is involves all 50 states, plus many countries. Its purpose is twofold: 1—Help students to develop 21st century skills that all employers are looking for such as: gracious professionalism (teamwork, leadership, problem solving, learning to work with other people, project management, meeting deadlines, working within a budget, etc.) 2—Get students interested in various careers including those that involve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They also provide opportunities for students interested in programming, web design, photography, public relations, marketing, creating business plans, team spirit and more. FIRST creates a school-to-career pipeline through which young people are inspired to explore opportunities in science and technology. By successfully forming coalitions with corporations, universities, and public schools, FIRST has become the premiere after-school engineering and robotics competition program in the nation.

The FIRST Robotics Competition began in 1992 with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high school gym. The FIRST LEGO League program was introduced in 1998, followed by both the FIRST Tech Challenge and the Junior FIRST LEGO League in 2007. Today, with the support of thousands of dedicated volunteers, the organization serves 196,000 students not only in asll 50 states, but also in 9 provinces and 38 countries.

Another of the key benefits of the FIRST programs that I have observed, is the proper behaviors it nurtures. Gracious professionalism and cooperation are FIRST’s core values, encouraging participants in all FIRST programs to do their best work. It is not about winning or losing, but working together to achieve a common goal. FIRST programs embrace and encourage students of varying interests, abilities, and academic competencies and foster participation by all youth, regardless of income, gender, ethnicity, or background.

This is a fantastic after school program for all youth--K-12-- to engage in.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Connecticut

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get more schools and community organizations involved

August 25, 2010

Two years ago I was introduced to a world I never knew existed--the world of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). I was invited to a high-school off-season robotics competition and saw unbridled enthusiasm among the students for learning about and creating robots, employing the disciplines of STEM. I have since observed another key attribute of FIRST: Gracious Professionalism. I see that FIRST is not only fostering a love of STEM, but is also instilling a real sense of citizenship in its participants by encouraging community service, teamwork, sportsmanship, respect for elders and authority, and mentoring of younger students. I have also witnessed how the program has transformed previously undirected youth into focused students with a thirst for obtaining higher education whether in STEM subjects or in Liberal Arts. I do not know of a better after-school program for today's youth and wish I had known about it for my own kids. I am a convert and will be a lifelong volunteer for this organization.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I wish I could have enrolled my kids, but now I have gotten my whole family involved in volunteering, giving us satisfaction of helping others get the benefits of this program.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the satisfaction of seeing youth inspired by STEM subjects as well as enjoying the entertainment of attending the competitions

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

just as excited about the programs as I am--dedicated, hard-working, sincerely interested in nurturing the love of STEM in youth.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

conduct more of an educational outreach campaign to generate more recognition and participation by school districts

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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