The World's Leading Youth-Serving Nonprofit Advancing STEM Education
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators 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 was founded in 1989 in the United States by Dean Kamen, a prolific and successful entrepreneur. By implementing FIRST programs, students (ages 6-18) build a wide set of skills and become future leaders in science and technology.
FIRST Israel was founded in 2005 by Maj. General (ret.) Avihu Ben-Nun, former Commander of the Israel Airforce, in cooperation with the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.
More than 14,000 students ages 6-18 from all parts of Israel participate annually and are inspired to pursue science and technology in more than 2,000 FIRST teams.
FIRST Core values
The FIRST Core Values emphasize friendly sportsmanship, respect for the contributions of others, teamwork, learning, and community involvement and are part of our commitment to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We expresses the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® through our Core Values:
The outstanding benefit of the FIRST programs is evident as FIRST Israel alumni are populating the elite tech-units of Israel Defense Forces, the engineering departments of the universities and the Israeli tech industry.
A recent wide study conducted by researchers at Technion‘s Samuel Ne’eman Institute found that graduates of the program declared the program had a very strong impact on their course of study. The program exposed the students to various aspects of STEM and helped them focus on the pursuit of a particular science or engineering career.
Most graduates indicated that participation in the program improved various capabilities including time management, public speaking, self-efficacy, teamwork, and coping with stressful situations.
"FIRST taught me that the sky is the limit that will-power and persistence are key to success"
FIRST Alumna, Mentor and Volunteer