FIRST Announces Three New Strategic Alliances: Alpha Omega Epsilon, the ECIA Foundation, and Sigma Phi Delta

Engineering-focused Sorority and Fraternity, and Association to Promote Value of Electronic Components Industry Join Forces with K-12 Robotics Organization to Inspire the Next Generation of STEM Problem-Solvers

MANCHESTER, N.H., February 2, 2016FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international K-12 not-for-profit organization that inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced new Alliance collaborations with three organizations: Alpha Omega Epsilon, Electronics Component Industry Association (ECIA) Foundation, and Sigma Phi Delta. FIRST shares a fundamental vision with these organizations for sustaining key programs that engage young minds.

These important new Strategic Alliances will join FIRST to:

  • Advocate and promote career opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), in grades K-12 and higher education;
  • Build on existing STEM related programs;
  • Seek ways to engage their memberships in FIRST Mentor/Coach opportunities as a means of workforce development, increased community involvement and/or to encourage employees to give back to the communities where they live/work.

“At FIRST we work to create a pipeline for the next generation of STEM problem-solvers,” said Donald E. Bossi, president, FIRST. “With the addition of these three new Strategic Alliances, we will be able to offer FIRST programs to even more kids, allowing us to engage a future workforce that is more diverse and innovative than ever before.”

About Alpha Omega Epsilon

Alpha Omega Epsilon is a professional and social sorority composed of female students and alumnae in the field of engineering and technical sciences. The Sisters of Alpha Omega Epsilon promote ideals and objectives that hope to further the advancement of female engineers and scientists, and hope to enlighten female engineers and scientists to the career opportunities available.

“Alpha Omega Epsilon believes that through this Strategic Alliance with FIRST, we can create a greater awareness of and opportunities for the promotion and advancement of female engineers and technical scientists,” said Amy Devine, International Executive Board President, Alpha Omega Epsilon. “By creating volunteer opportunities for our collegiate members as part of their community outreach efforts and providing professional members with Coach/Mentor opportunities, we’re thrilled to take part in inspiring the next generation of female engineers and scientists.”

Learn more about Alpha Omega Epsilon.

About Electronics Component Industry Association (ECIA) Foundation

As a charitable affiliate of the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA), the ECIA Foundation promotes the value of the electronic components industry and facilitates the association members’ efforts to give back to the industry and the community at large. A staunch supporter of education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the ECIA Foundation, through relationships with colleges and universities, encourages careers in the electronic component industry.

“Through our Strategic Alliance with FIRST, the ECIA Foundation hopes to promote awareness of the electronics industry and the varied career opportunities available to a new generation of talent,” said Debbie Conyers, ECIA Foundation Director. “By engaging our members as Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers as part of our workforce development plan, we hope to help create a pipeline of future workers to a growing industry.”

Learn more about the ECIA Foundation.

About Sigma Phi Delta

The Sigma Phi Delta fraternity has, since its founding in 1924 at the University of Southern California, been a Professional and Social Fraternity of engineers. Key components within the mission of the Sigma Phi Delta fraternity are to promote the advancement of the engineering profession, to foster the advancement of the engineering education, and to instill a greater spirit of cooperation among engineering students and organizations.

“Sigma Phi Delta is thrilled to be a Strategic Alliance of FIRST as we have a shared goal of advancing the engineering profession,” said Eric J. Pew, Grand Vice President, Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. “Our members are looking forward to volunteering at FIRST events and mentoring teams. Because our members are engineering students or working engineers, we will be able to provide real world experience to FIRST students.”

Learn more about Sigma Phi Delta.

Learn more about FIRST Strategic Alliances.

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 $25 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-3. 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


Media Contacts:

Haley Dunn

Brooke Blew