FIRST® and Amazon Future Engineer Expand Collaboration to Inspire Next Generation of Diverse Computer Scientists, Engineers, and Innovators

Amazon Becomes Strategic Partner for Global PreK-12 STEM Nonprofit with $1.2 Million Donation

MANCHESTER, N.H., February 4, 2021FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, today announced Amazon donated $1.2 million and became a FIRST Strategic Partner, providing the highest level of sponsorship through cumulative and overarching support of the youth-serving nonprofit organization to inspire the next generation to build skills and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Over the past three years, Amazon has dedicated millions of dollars and mentorship through its signature computer science education program, Amazon Future Engineer, to grow and sustain FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge programs in Title I schools and others across the U.S., in addition to providing in-kind tech support to FIRST and additional resources for robotics education professional development and computer science curriculum for those same schools. This year, Amazon is growing its support to sponsor FIRST programs globally as the FIRST LEGO League Lead Global Sponsor for the 2021-2022 season launching in a few months, supporting and inspiring teams made up of students from underserved and underrepresented communities around the world to reimagine the future.

“We are honored to recognize Amazon as a FIRST Strategic Partner. Amazon Future Engineer is making a significant impact in helping FIRST reach more underserved and underrepresented communities and make our robotics programs available in every school and accessible for every student,” said Larry Cohen, president at FIRST. “FIRST has a proven influence on young people’s interest and persistence in pursuing education and careers in engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields. Together with Amazon, we’re inspiring the next generation of diverse innovators.”

In 2018, Amazon launched the Amazon Future Engineer program to increase access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities from childhood through college. As part of the program, Amazon Future Engineer partnered with FIRST on Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grants to bring FIRST programs and teacher professional development to schools, reaching thousands of students from underrepresented and underserved communities across the U.S., including KIPP Charter Schools and Title I public schools in Seattle, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Nashville. Amazon Future Engineer is committed to providing creative, hands-on experiences to encourage more students to try computer science.

Six years into an ongoing longitudinal impact study of FIRST programs by Brandeis University, there is strong evidence that FIRST participation leads to long-term impact, including sustained attitudes and interest in STEM and persistence in STEM pathways into college and related careers. Positive impacts are consistent regardless of race, gender, income, or community type.

FIRST alumni are significantly more likely than their peers to pursue college pathways into computer science and engineering. By year 3 in college, 69% of FIRST alumni declared a major in engineering or computer science. Notably, female FIRST alumni declared engineering majors at the same rate as male alumni and higher rates than comparison group men and women. 

Amazon joins more than 20 other companies (including one federal agency) that have achieved the top tier level for sponsorship of FIRST. Together, these strategic partners provide significant funding, mentorship, volunteerism, equipment, and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.

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


About FIRST®
FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at