FIRST stands for: For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology. By 1992, Dean Kamen was becoming increasingly concerned about our ability to effectively compete in business given our declining ability to educate students in science and technology. Kamen and his friend, Dr. Woodie Flowers, had a wild idea: create a competition–now a “coopertition”–where teams of high school students, working closely with mentors, design and build a robot, in a six week period, then compete both regionally and nationally.

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