Our 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.

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.

From our beginning in 1992 with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high-school gym, to reaching close to 250,000 young people and the FIRST Championship held in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, FIRST has a rich history. Review past games, challenges, and the elite FIRST teams over the years.


  • Founded 1989

  • Headquartered in Manchester, NH

  • 501(c)(3) public charity


  • Dean Kamen, Founder

  • Sheri S. McCoy and Robert M. Tuttle, Co-Chairs

  • Don Bossi, President

  • Board of Directors & Senior Management


  • Volunteers make FIRST happen -180,000+ Volunteer roles are expected to be filled this season

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


FIRST Scholarship Program 

  • Over $20 million in college scholarships in 2014

  • 900+ scholarship opportunities

  • 180+ scholarship providers

Overall Reach - All Programs Combined (projected for the 2014/15 season) 

  • 400,000+ students

  • 38,700+ teams

  • 34,000+ robots

  • 90,000+ Mentors/adult supporter roles filled

  • 90,000+ other Volunteer roles filled (e.g. event Volunteers, Affiliate Partners, VISTAs)

See breakdowns by individual program below (worldwide projections for 2014/15 season). 

2015 FIRST Robotics Competition (projected)

  • 3,000 teams

  • 75,000 high-school students (Grades 9-12)

  • 56 Regional Events; 5 Qualifying Championships; 44 Qualifying (District) Competitions

  • FIRST Robotics Competition Championship at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 22-25, 2015

  • Robots are built in 6 weeks from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST, and typically weigh approximately 120 lbs.

  • Dean Kamen, Founder