FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a global nonprofit organization that operates after-school robotics programs for young people ages 6-18 in the United States and internationally. 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 science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded capacities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The sequence of FIRST programs in the United States begins with the FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. program serving elementary school-aged youth (ages 6-9), followed by the FIRST® LEGO® League program serving primarily middle school-aged youth (ages 9-14), the FIRST® Tech Challenge serving grades 7-12, and FIRST® Robotics Competition, serving high school-aged youth (grades 9-12). In 2017-18, FIRST estimates that over 515,000 young people will participate in its programs on more than 59,000 teams and will compete in more than 2,900 events worldwide.2 In 2011, FIRST contracted with the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management to conduct a multi-year longitudinal study of FIRST’s middle and high school programs. The goal of the study, building on more than a decade of short-term evaluation studies by Brandeis University and others, is to document the longer-term impacts of FIRST’s programs on participating youth and to do so through a design that meets the standards for rigorous, scientifically-based evaluation research. Learn more about the FIRST Impact on our ABOUT page.
The Executive advisory board of FIRST Louisiana-Mississippi
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