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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. While FIRST will always provide students with an experience that will give them strong science, technology and engineering skills, we recognize it is equally important to let them know it is also about innovation, creativity, integration, and collaboration
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.
FIRST works in concert with business leaders, educators, mentors, volunteers and technology organizations to inspire youth to develop capabilities that open up a world of endless opportunity. Volunteers from industry work with students in the mentoring process and help students aspire to college and eventually STEM careers. Industries benefit from a workforce reinvigorated by the mentoring process and from establishing a pipeline that develops new talent. Further, relationships developed between students and mentors serve to strengthen bonds within the community and between a workplace and its potential workforce. The season-culminating events allow teams to test their robots, teamwork, strategies, and individual mettle in a high pressure environment; give them a chance to learn from other teams; and provide an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments.
Today FIRST engages approximately 37,000 high school students, 100,000 middle-school-age students, 64,000 volunteers and over 2,000 corporate sponsors.
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