FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen 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.
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.
FIRST has been active in Connecticut since 1995.
To learn more about FIRST in Connecticut or to get involved, please contact Sue Glasspiegel (firstname.lastname@example.org), Regional Director, FIRST.
“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.” – Dean Kamen, Founder
FIRST’s 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 leadership.
FIRST Core Values: Gracious Professionalism
Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term “Gracious Professionalism.”
Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.
FIRST is a non-denominational, non-partisan public charity that welcomes all cultures and religions to participate in our programs and activities. We are guided by sensitivity and respect for others, embracing a common goal of inspiring, engaging and encouraging youth of all backgrounds to be a part of the FIRST community and embrace the wonders of science and technology.