Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

FIRST

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Engineering & Technology, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Technology, Youth Development Programs

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.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Having seen this organization in action working with kids, I can easily award them 5 stars!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

FIRST and their programs provide students valuable training in technical, leadership,
and problem-solving skills. These tools will help them succeed as the next generation of
inventors that will drive the future.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Bambi C.

Donor

Rating: 1

you state that the president gets a 229,000 annual salary on this site. And people are ginving it 5 stars? Wow! this blows my mind! Why would you want to donate to give the president a 229k annual salary? I will not give it 5 stars, nor 5.00.
People really need to looks at the profit statements, for the salary's before donating to their favorite charity's.
You may think twice. there are a lot of them out there that do not make these enormous salaries!

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 5

As my company has been involved with FIRST for the past 5 years, we decided to increase our impact and offer scholarships to select participants of the 2010 competition. The FIRST organization attracts such a high caliber of students that it made our selection process a difficult, but enjoyable one. We were able to directly affect the students in a way that our company never has before. FIRST is a well oiled machine that helps companies positively impact students across the nation and world and encourage those students into the fields of science and engineering.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

As Scholarship Coordinator for the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, I have attended regional competitions to promote the University-sponsored FIRST scholarships. I have been impressed with the quality of these competitions and the enthusiasm for learning it has promoted in the student participants. FIRST helps students become well-rounded individuals with a focus on developing their technological skills.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Since learning about FIRST in 2007, our company has supported FIRST programs and I have personally participated in programs and at events. What I have observed is an amazing program that engages children from grade school through high school in more than just robotics, it gets them interested in technology, science and math careers. It takes something that could be intimidating and presents it in a way that all can learn and participate. Not only does it support STEM education but teaches SO MUCH MORE. Its theme of Gracious Professionalism teaches students that it is inot always about winning but the importance of working together and helping others. In addition, teams and partcipants are encouraged to share the message in the community, mentor younger children and provide community service. It is a remarkable organization and I am proud to be a part of the FIRST family.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

FIRST is a truly unique organization which helps encourage students from all walks of life to get excited and learn about science and engineering. FIRST creates and organizes events nationwide which encourages students to apply knowledge in a fun filled game that requires teamwork, on the spot thinking and creatvity. It is such a fun experience watching these kids compete, and see how excited they can get about science. The program is helping recruit future scientists and engineers, all while letting the kids have a lot of fun.