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Little girl building robot

$50 helps FIRST Provide early STEM awareness education, team building and critical thinking skills to over 6 youths aged 6-9 inspiring them to develop a passion for STEM.


In 1989, Dean Kamen, inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology saw an emerging need to inspire young people to have an interest in science and technology.  He recognized the growing necessity to equip America with a technologically-prepared workforce required for a global world becoming ever-more dependent on technology.  Dean’s passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®).

FIRST offers youth development programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for elementary to high school students.  The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build STEM skills that inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.  

FIRST brings together an alliance of business leaders, educators, mentors, volunteers and technology organizations to help young people design, program, and build sophisticated robots to compete in technical, sports-like events.  Working alongside these professionals, students become inspired and excited about potential careers in engineering, electronics, computer programming, and many other scientific and technology fields. 

The ultimate goal of FIRST is to substantially strengthen the school-to-career pipeline through which young people are inspired to explore opportunities in science and technology in order to foster the next generation of science, innovation and technology leaders. To achieve this goal, FIRST aims to: 

  • promote the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • help today's youth acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the technologically-driven global economy.
  • foster well-rounded life capabilities: respect, communication, leadership, integrity, sportsmanship, team-work, responsibility, self-confidence and self-esteem. 
  • encourage students (ages 6-18) to pursue advanced studies in engineering and technology at the college, graduate and post-graduate levels leading to careers in related technical fields. 
  • nurture Gracious Professionalism™ and Coopertition™ - FIRST’s core values encouraging participants to do their best work while working together to achieve a common goal.