Source: UNH Manchester
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) will receive the 2012 Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. FIRST has inspired youth and adults from Greater Manchester, the state, across the nation and the world to discover the excitement of science and technology. The Granite State Award recognizes these significant achievements, service, and/or contributions to the State. Jon Dudas, President of FIRST, will accept the award at University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s 27th annual commencement proceedings on Thursday, May 17.
The FIRST 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. FIRST robotics programs inspire innovation and foster live skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Few organizations have so successfully fulfilled their missions and contributed to the youth of New Hampshire and the nation as FIRST. Founded by Dean Kamen 20 years ago, the nonprofit organization has been devoted to helping youth aged 6 to 18 develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math.
FIRST began with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high-school gym. The 2011-2012 FIRST season attracted more than 26,800 teams, close to 300,000 youth and more than 100,000 mentors, coaches, and volunteers from more than 60 countries. The annual FIRST programs culminate in a the annual FIRST Championship a celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
Every participant comes to understand the meaning of the two guiding values of FIRST: Gracious Professionalism(TM) and Coopertition(TM). Through Gracious Professionalism(TM), students learn and are also fierce competitors. They treat one another with respect and kindness and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they have acted with integrity and sensitivity. The second value, Coopertition(TM), produces innovation and is founded on the philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.
The outcomes of a FIRST experience tell a story of achievement. A recent study of participants has found that FIRST students are more than three times as likely to major in engineering. They are approximately ten times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year and are significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree. FIRST participants are more than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology and nearly four times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering. FIRST participations also pay it forward as they are more than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
Over the years the FIRST organization and participants, coaches and mentors have contributed to the lives of the people and organizations in Manchester, the State, and the nation and reflect the high standards of the Granite State Award.
UNH Manchester’s 27th Commencement proceedings will be held in Arms Park in Manchester’s Millyard, behind the UNH Manchester campus, beginning at 6:00 PM on Thursday, May 17.