"To transform our culture by creating a world
where science and technology are celebrated and
where young people dream of becoming science
and technology leaders."
Dean Kamen, Founder



Their mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders,

by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science,

engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-

rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and



Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate  for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.





  • Founded 1989

  • Headquartered in Manchester, NH

  • 501(c)(3) public charity

  • FIRST Financial Information

  • Leadership

  • Dean Kamen, Founder

  • Walt Havenstein, Chairman of the Board

  • Robert M. Tuttle, Interim President

  • Board of Directors & Senior Management


  • More than 120,000 Volunteers make FIRST happen

  • FIRST is supported by a network of more than 3,500 Sponsors, including corporations, educational and professional institutions, and individuals


  • FIRST Robotics Competition for Grades 9-12

  • FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12

  • FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8

  • Junior FIRST LEGO League for Grades K-3

  • FIRST Place for ages 6 to adult

  • 2013 FIRST Scholarship Program

  • More than $30 million in college scholarships

  • 756+ scholarship opportunities

  • 150+ scholarship providers

Overall Reach - All Programs Combined (projected for the 2012/13 season)

  • 303,000+ students

  • 29,200+ teams

  • 25,000+ robots

  • 56,500+ Mentors/adult supporters

  • 64,000+ other Volunteers (e.g. events Volunteers, Operational and Affiliate Partners)

  • See breakdowns by individual program below (projections for 2012/13 season).

2013 FIRST Robotics Competition

  • 2,548 teams

  • 50,960 high-school students (Grades 9-12)

  • 58 Regional Events; 1 State Championship; 1 Region Championship; 17 District Competitions

  • FIRST Robotics Competition Championship at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 24-27, 2013

  • Robots are built in 6 weeks from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST, and typically weigh up to 150 lbs.

  • 2012/13 FIRST Tech Challenge

  • 2,500 teams

  • 25,000 high-school students (Grades 7-12)

  • 100+ Qualifying and Championship Tournaments

  • FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 24-27, 2013

  • Robots are built using a re-usable, modular robotics platform

2012/13 FIRST LEGO League

  • 20,500 teams

  • 205,000 children (Grades 4-8)

  • From 60+ countries

  • 814 Qualifying Tournaments; 124+ Championship Tournaments

  • FIRST LEGO League World Festival at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 24-27, 2013

  • Autonomous robots are built using LEGO MINDSTORMS technologies

2012/13 Junior FIRST LEGO League

  • 3,700 teams

  • 22,200 kids, ages 6 to 9 (Grades K-3

  • 100+ Jr.FLL Expos

  • Participants design and construct a model using LEGO bricks and moving parts and present their research journey on a poster


Source FIRST®

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No robots were harmed in the making of this website.  

Last update: July 2020

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