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FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to inspire and excite secondary high school students about mathematics, science and engineering. Many companies and organizations have established bridges with local schools to help ensure the future presence of a qualified work force, few programs have been developed on the national level. One program that has, and has been very successful in its mission, is the national robotics competition of FIRST. The FIRST conducts regional and national design competitions which demonstrate that engineering, math and science can be interesting, captivating and entertaining as a sporting event.
FIRST Florida Regional, Orlando. Hosted by UCF and NASA at the University of Central Florida Arena. The Florida Regional is one of more than 26 regionals organized and run by FIRST Robotics of New Hampshire.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, nationwide competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience and a lot of fun.
In 2004 the competition reached more than 20,000 students on over 930 teams in 27 competitions. Our teams come from Canada, Brazil, the U.K., and almost every U.S. state. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines.
Colleges, universities, corporations, businesses, and individuals provide scholarships to our participants. Involved engineers experience again many of the reasons they chose engineering as a profession, and the companies they work for contribute to the community while they prepare and create their future workforce. The competition shows students that the technological fields hold many opportunities and that the basic concepts of science, math, engineering, and invention are exciting and interesting.
- Nancy Knobbs
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