Boeing Invests $1.5 Million in FIRST to Inspire Young Innovators

MANCHESTER, N.H., February 26, 2018 FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international K-12 not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen, today announced a $1.5 million grant awarded by The Boeing Company to support young innovators through FIRST programming. The company’s investment will assist in the development of targeted mentorship programs that increase STEM diversity, proficiency and interest among K-12 students – specifically among underserved and geographically diverse populations.

“Whether they’re solving technical challenges in the classroom or putting their skills to work at a FIRST competition, it’s remarkable what these young minds are capable of creating,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “Boeing is committed to supporting STEM programs like FIRST through employee volunteerism and charitable grants. By exposing students to STEM subjects and experiences and teaching them how to apply what they’ve learned in real and relevant ways, we hope to inspire future generations of dreamers and doers.”

The 2018 grant supports FIRST programs, which inspire innovation and leadership through engaging, hands-on robotics challenges developed to ignite curiosity and passion and develop valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills in students in grade K-12.

Boeing, a FIRST Strategic Partner, has supported the organization since 2001. Boeing is sponsoring more than 550 FIRST teams around the U.S. this year. Over the years, the company has provided employee volunteers to mentor teams and donated money, scholarships, and other resources to help FIRST grow. Boeing has also been a longtime sponsor of FIRST Championship and a recent sponsor of the FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grants. Muilenburg is a member of the FIRST Board of Directors.

“This generous grant from Boeing is helping us move closer to our goal of reaching all kids with equitable access to opportunity, mentorship, and engagement to build a foundation for a bright future,” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST. “We’re incredibly grateful for Boeing’s ongoing commitment to FIRST, especially through Dennis’s valuable expertise on our board and the powerful mentorships so many of his employees provide FIRST participants.”

For more information about FIRST programs and sponsorship opportunities, please contact

About The Boeing Company
Through purposeful investments, employee engagement and thoughtful advocacy efforts, Boeing and its employees support innovative partnerships and programs that align with the company's strategic objectives, create value and help build better communities worldwide. This includes improving access to globally competitive learning as well as workforce and skills development, and supporting our military and veteran communities. See how Boeing and its employees give their time, talent and resources in communities around the world. Download the 2017 Boeing Global Engagement Portfolio.

Chicago-based Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries.

About FIRST® 
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to