Press Release - January 4, 2013

FIRST Announces Scholarship Fund to Honor the Memory of Long-Time Volunteer Dr. Bart Kamen

New, Transportable Scholarships for Students Pursuing Degrees in Biomedical Engineering & Pre-Med

MANCHESTER, N.H., January 7, 2013 FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announces the establishment of The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund. The Fund honors the long-time FIRST Volunteer Judge and late brother of Dean Kamen, Dr. Bart Kamen, and is designed to encourage undergraduate students pursuing biomedical engineering and/or pre-medical degrees. 

The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund was founded by a collaborative donation among Dr. Kamen’s friends, family and fellow FIRST community members. Initially the Fund, which totals over $2 million, will annually award renewable grants of $10,000 each to three students - who have already demonstrated innovation, respect for science & engineering and compassion - to pursue the undergraduate study of biomedical engineering and/or pre-medical studies. The grants, renewable for up to three additional years, will be used to help successful applicants attend the college of their choice.

“By selecting students who have successfully participated in one of the four K-12 FIRST progression of robotics programs, The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund wishes to encourage students who have already excelled to honor the legacy of Dr. Kamen, whose brilliance, compassion and passion improved the lives of countless patients,” said Bob Tuttle, Interim President, FIRST.

Dr. Bart Aron Kamen was a distinguished pediatric oncologist, cancer pharmacologist and devoted family man. He was also a long-tenured and passionate FIRST supporter. Dr. Kamen was known by his colleagues as a brilliant scholar, compassionate physician, dedicated mentor and gentle man with unfettered enthusiasm for learning, teaching, talking science and challenging the mainstream with his out-of-the box thinking for the betterment of patient care.

A prominent researcher as well as a caring doctor, Dr. Kamen authored more than 300 manuscripts and was the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Pediatric Hematology Oncology.

Dr. Kamen received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and served his internship/residency and fellowship in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology and pharmacology at Yale University.

“Our FIRST scholarship recipients are outstanding contributors to the colleges and universities they attend, and the corporations where they intern, and they have a wonderful track record at their employers,” noted Walt Havenstein, Chairman FIRST Board of Directors. “As FIRSTAlums, they carry the message that the pursuit of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) foundation is paramount to the country’s workforce development, as well as their own long-term career.”

The total number of scholarship dollars available to college-bound FIRST participants has grown to over $16 million with the addition of the new Fund. Eleven new college/university/corporate providers joined the FIRST Scholarship program in 2012.

A total 158 colleges, universities, corporations, associations and funds support the FIRST mission by generously donating merit-based scholarship opportunities to eligible students who want to take their FIRST experience to the next level. Last year, nearly one in three applicants was offered a FIRST Scholarship, and 25 percent of the recipients were female.

Any FIRST participant in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®), FIRST ® Tech Challenge (FTC®) or FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) who has completed a minimum of one year in a FIRST program is eligible to apply for the Dr. Bart Kamen FIRST Scholarship Fund. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2013. Links to criteria and the application form available on the FIRST web site, www.usfirst.org, the week of January 7.

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 three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) 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 www.usfirst.org.

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, FTC®, and Gracious Professionalism® are registered trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). ©2012 FIRST. All rights reserved.

Media Contact:
Cheryl Walsh, FIRST
Ph: 603-206-2460
cwalsh@usfirst.org