Last week, I had the great pleasure of being invited to dinner at Dean Kamen’s house in New Hampshire. For those that don’t know, Kamen is an inventor famous for inventing the Segway Human Transporter, as well as a portable kidney dialysis machine, and many other inventions.However his most important “invention” is probably FIRST. FIRST is a program that encourages students from elementary through high school to get excited about science and engineering through robotics competitions held throughout the country and the world.
FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
FIRST started 20 years years ago with Kamen and some friends putting together some robotics kits for a few high school teams in New England.
20 years later, FIRST is comprised of 4 Leagues, nearly 300,000 students, 27,000 teams and 25,000 robots worldwide. As you can imagine, this non profit needs a lot of help to put it all together. In addition to the over 30,000 volunteers that participate, FIRST relies on a network of sponsors to supply all the parts for the robots, and thats where CTL comes in. For our second year in a row, CTL is prod to be a sponsor of FIRST, which, though our partnership, allows us to place our CTL’s 2goPC computers in the kits for the robots.
FIRST is getting huge attention. Its latest fan is will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas fame, who at the latest world championship in March of this year performed for the kids. This performance was filmed and aired on ABC on August 14th, with over 2.7 million viewers.
CTL is excited and extremely proud to be entering our third year of sponsorship for FIRST, and we look forward to a long partnership of CTL and FIRST inspiring young people to grow and excel in science and engineering.