A Message from Our Founder, Dean Kamen

Now more than ever the world needs FIRST®. Over the past 25 years, millions of young people from across the globe have participated in FIRST programs, changing the world by becoming our new generation of innovators, problem-solvers, and technology leaders. This legacy and opportunity are as strong and dynamic as ever. This year alone, the FIRST movement is nearly 1 million women and men strong. FIRST creates the people who will change the world – today and tomorrow.

This week, you may have heard of a new, but separate, initiative called FIRST Global that I founded. FIRST Global is an event program inspired by the Olympic model of international competition, designed to create a global STEM challenge in collaboration with the National Academies of Engineering. The FIRST Global event involves a robotics competition, in which each country can field a single team comprised of high school-age students. In 2017, our inaugural FIRST Global event will be held on July 16th through 18th in Washington, D.C., USA.  

An important objective of FIRST Global is to bring the excitement of participating in robotics competitions to countries around the world that do not currently have such programs. However, several competing countries already offer FIRST programs, such as FIRST® LEGO® League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, or FIRST® Robotics Competition, and in those countries FIRST Global is intentionally designed to complement those existing FIRST programs.

Your support for FIRST is critical as we continue to find new ways to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all nations. We’re excited for this new complement to FIRST and its programs, and I look forward to keeping you updated on our efforts.

Dean Kamen