FIRST

Rating: 4.83 stars   77 reviews

Address:

200 Bedford Street Manchester NH 03101 USA

Mission:

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.

Target demographics:

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

Programs:

The first robotics competition (frc) directly served approximately 72,500 high school students on 2,900 teams. Working with mentors, each team built a robot in six weeks from a kit of common parts, designing it to meet this year's game challenge, "recycle rush. " each team participated in one or more 2 to 3-day events at 109 locations, competing for awards for game scores, safety practices, teamwork and other qualitative achievements, stressing the values of cooperation and inclusion. Award winning teams participated in the annual championship event in st louis, mo. The frc program provided students with the experience of applying science and technology to achieve a specific challenge under a time constraint. (narrative continued on schedule o, pg. 149). This experience developed students' technical skills, teamwork and the ability to deal with the satisfactions and disappointments of a real engineering project. Participation in frc has inspired many students to go on to college, pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Many frc coaches and mentors work in these fields and help the students develop bonds within their communities and connections to the workforce development pipeline. Students in the frc program are eligible for college scholarships through the first scholarship program.

the first lego league (fll) reached approximately 208,000 students aged 9-16, on 26,044 teams in more than 80 countries. This year's challenge was called "fll world class. " teams worked on game challenges using lego mindstorms technology, applying science and engineering to master complex missions to redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century. In april 2015, teams from around the world met in st louis, mo for the fll world festival competition and celebration. The junior first lego league (jrfll) program served approximately 33,000 students aged 6 to 9, on 5,653 teams through a web-based game challenge called "jrfll think tank. " (narrative continued on schedule o, pgs. 149-150). Participation in fll and jrfll has engaged students in a comprehensive experience developing confidence in their ability to address serious issues, enhancing their education in science and math, and exposing them to a stem career. By progressing through each program and ultimately to frc, students gain a full suite of technical skills and ongoing encouragement, making it more likely that they will pursue careers in science and technology.

the first tech challenge (ftc) served approximately 44,000 youths from ages 12 to 18 on 4,445 teams. Like the frc program, ftc is a design and build experience but using a smaller kit and simpler game challenge. In this year's game, "cascade effect," each team built a robot and participated in a regional tournament. Ftc provides an experience similar to the frc program, but is more readily accessible to a broader audience of educators and students, in part because of its lower cost. The ftc experience simulates the excitement as well as the pressure of a real-life engineering project, developing not only the students' technical know-how, but also leadership, cooperation, ability to plan, patience, and teamwork. (narrative continued on schedule o, pg. 150). Like the frc program, ftc enriches the participating students' ability to deal with the satisfactions and disappointments of a real engineering project. The ftc experience expands students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and inspires many to go on to a higher education. Like the frc participants, students in the ftc program are eligible for some of the college scholarships through the first scholarship program. By progressing through each program and ultimately frc, students gain a full suite of technical skills and ongoing encouragement, making it more likely that they will pursue careers in science and technology.

the $118,030 of expenses and $3,345 of program service revenue reported are first place (fp) costs and revenue. Fp provided on-site research, testing, and evaluation of existing programs and hosted some training events and conferences related to program development and expansion. Fp provided local educators and students with hands-on learning opportunities during summer vacation and spring break. The first scholarship program attracted 180 colleges, universities, businesses, and professional associations. These organizations offered $22 million in college scholarships to first program participants. First provided guidance to high school students encouraging them to apply. Awards ranged from $500 to full tuition. The costs of the first scholarship program are included on form 990, part iii. The first volunteer program provided support to teams, coaches and our regional staff around the country by recruiting, screening and training volunteers who are needed for all first programs. An estimated 150,000 volunteers, including federally funded vista workers, provide much of the efforts behind first's programs. The costs of the first volunteer program are included on form 990, part iii. The following is the total cost, grants provided, and revenue from our first place programs.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

(800) 871-8326
http://www.firstinspires.org

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Reviews for FIRST

profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

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.

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

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

For the past three years I have attended various FIRST Robotic Events both at the regional and national competitions, as Johnson & Wales University is a scholarship provider. From the organizers down to the students, I have been impressed with the different events FIRST puts on. Engineers are needed badly in the workforce and FIRST has provided an opportunity at such a young age for students to work on big projects. These projects have helped develop the technology skills that lay a great foundation for their future careers in technology. We look forward to working with FIRST for many years to come.

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

The national and regional conferences and the huge opportunities the students have to learn.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

First Robotics is a truly inspiring program. It sucessfully brings together industry, universities, and high schools to build and support the pipline of students who will go into the technological workforce.

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

Selecting the scholarship recipients.

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

we are working together to inspire students to persue technical fields.

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

helpful and very responsive.

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

change the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

 
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