FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization founded “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.” Founded by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers in 1989, FIRST seeks to promote a philosophy of teamwork and collaboration among engineers and encourages competing teams to remain friendly, helping each other out when necessary, expressed through its values of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®.

Mission Statement

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

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