Rating: 4.83 stars   77 reviews


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.

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

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for FIRST

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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!

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a teammate from 2013-2015 for two seasons,and this influenced me a lot. It even solids my decision to study aboard to see more. Also I am going to become a mentor for FTC and FRC teams this year.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am entering my second year in the FIRST Robotics. This started with me and some friends deciding to start a team. As one thing led to another, we went from three members to a little under twenty team members trying to solve the problem using only the tools we owned and the kit of parts provided. We had a large amount of help from many teams as well as the FIRST workers themselves. In the end we won the rookie inspiration award and almost every team member is back this year with more first year kids with us. It has helped us with our education by teaching us teamwork, responsibility, and helping your fellow teams in their time of need. This is a life changing program that I am ecstatic to be a part of.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

get more schools and community organizations involved

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

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.

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.

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

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About every week

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