What is First?


FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen as a way to promote engineering, science, and technology through fun and exciting competitions. FIRST is a non-profit organization based in Manchester, New Hampshire, which fosters hands-on learning. Young people learn not only engineering and technology skills, but also self confidence, communication, and leadership through the challenges FIRST gives students all over the world.


Dean Kamen founded FIRST to get students interested in the world of science and technology. He started out as an inventor, just trying to help solve regular problems with out-of-the-box solutions. He invented many useful things such as the insulin pump, water purification systems, and the Segway PT. The idea behind his inventions was helping others, but his company did extremely well. He even says that FIRST is the invention he is most proud of.

Another playmaker of FIRST is Woodie Flowers, a mechanical engineer and the co-founder of FIRST. He is a prominent member of the FIRST community and created the Woodie Flowers Award, given to one mentor for outstanding contribution to the students on their team.