A bit about FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
Our vision is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all. Founder Dean Kamen, invites you to get behind FIRST, too.
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.
FIRST kids are significantly more likely to attend college, major in science or engineering, and be outstanding future employees and citizens. FIRST is about changing our culture… for the better.
FIRST learning never stops building upon itself, starting at age 6 and continuing through age 18. Participants master skills and concepts to aid in learning science and technology through innovative projects and robotics competitions, while gaining valuable employment and life skills.
A unique melding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles and the excitement of competition makes FIRST the ultimate Sport for the Mind™. Visit an event near you and watch as teams showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation and compete in thrilling robot matches.
When I retired, I knew I wanted to give back to my industry and community. I wanted to focus my time and talent to inspire the next generation to pursue majors in science and engineering.
I got hooked on the FIRST robotics program over 12 years ago when I decided to commit WDI Ride Engineering funding and resources to support an LA team – Hawthorne High School. What an amazing adventure. I actually think the Ride Engineering Mentors got as much out of it as the students. I was also fortunate to have been selected to judge that year. I was hooked.
I remember my dear friend Greg Hale, VP and CSO of Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, saying “It’s about time” I became involved. Greg has been deeply involved in FIRST Robotic Competition for over twenty year. Greg has been hooked ever since FIRST started holding its annual Championship at World Disney World. Greg has faithfully supported teams, regionals and has served for years on the FIRST Game Design Committee and FIRST Executive Advisory Board.
Recently, I arranged a meeting between FIRST Senior Management and key Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Leadership. We discussed how Disney could support FIRST on a larger scale. WDI and Disney have been supporting local teams and the LA Regional competitions for over twelve years. WDI Leaders agreed to evaluate how they could become more engaged by utilizing Imaginneers vast resource of talent. The outcome I had hoped for of continued ground root support and additional giving back through making key resources available to work on FIRST initiatives was confirmed. I think WDI Senior Leadership is hooked!
The day even got better as I accompanied the FIRST Leadership group to Century City for the first meeting of the newly formed Southern California FIRST Executive Advisory Board. We were hosted by Steven and Jill Petty, long time champions of FIRST. Eight veteran FIRST supports and volunteers had been ask to form the charter Advisory Board. To my surprise and great honor, I was asked to Chair the Advisory Board. That set the hook. As Chair, I have committed to growing teams, resource development and fundraising for the Southern California FIRST Teams and Regional competitions.
Now, I encourage you to get hooked on FIRST!!Read more about FIRST at www.usfirst.org
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