What is FIRST ®?

FIRST®(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is the world’s leading childservingnonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Founded byinventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has evolved into a global movement by engaging millions ofpeople with a proven game-changer for preparing kids to solve the world’s greatest problems. FIRST programs inspire innovation and leadership through engaging, hands-on robotics challengesdeveloped to ignite curiosity and passion in students in grades K-12. FIRST builds powerfulmentorship relationships between young people and STEM professionals, helping kids gainconfidence to explore the innovation process while they learn valuable science, engineering,technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.


The mission of FIRST® is to inspire 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.

Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST. For over 25 years, Kamen has resolutely led the growth of FIRST to where it is now universally recognized as the leading, not-for-profit STEM engagement program for kids worldwide.


“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”  Dean Kamen, Founder

Fikret Yüksel Foundation


Fikret Yuksel Foundation’s mission is to start a FIRST Robotics Competition regional in Turkey so that the program will be able to reach far more students. Presently, teams from Turkey have to travel to Israel or the United States to attend a regional, which costs more money than most schools can fundraise. This also makes Championships extremely expensive for schools to attend if they qualify, as it requires them to travel to the U.S. potentially twice in one year. Students miss more classroom days than U.S. teams due to the great distance travelled and the need to adjust for large time-zone shifts. Potential sponsors also need to travel to the U.S. to see the competition. 


The Foundation focuses on improving education for Turkish students primarily through getting them involved in the FIRST®Robotics Competition ( The Foundation has helped many teams compete with FIRST.

Thank you Fikret Yuksel Foundation!