For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
What is FIRST?
"FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vechicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect - of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future."
- Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST
FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.
They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.
In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.