Manchester Board of School Committee Funds FIRST Robotics Programs for City’s High-School System
MANCHESTER, N.H., October 28, 2011—FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced that the Manchester Board of School Committee has this year appropriated a total of $10,500 – or $3,500 per high school – for the pan high-school system in the city to cover the costs of robotics teams and teacher stipends for the after-school program.
The addition of teacher stipends and funds for each of the three high schools in Manchester will allow local students to join a unique ‘Varsity Sport for the Mind™’ designed to help young people discover the interesting and rewarding aspects of engineering and research, while challenging teams and their Mentors to solve problems in a six-week timeframe using a standard Kit of Parts and a common set of rules.
An estimated 60,000 high-school students will take part in the next season of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), which will kick off in January 2012.
"We thank the Mayor and the Board of School Committee for giving access to FIRST robotics programs to the entire high-school system in the city of Manchester," said Jon Dudas, President, FIRST. "The skills and confidence the students gain from real-world, hands-on problem solving and working side-by-side with professional mentors will open their minds to exciting education and careers paths they may not have considered or thought possible."
During the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition season, 2,072 teams totaling 51,800 students competed at 59 events in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. Participants are eligible to apply for nearly $14 million in scholarships at more than 140 colleges and universities.
“FIRST is a very fine program and I know that this investment is a very important step for our high schools in the city,” noted Mayor Gatsas. “Our students deserve every opportunity we can give them to gain the skills sets they will need to be competitive, not only on college applications but in their everyday lives. We believe this program will expose students to the many opportunities in possible careers in science, technology, engineering and math careers for the long term.”
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 $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. 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.