Welcome to the 2013 FIRST Championship!
Welcome to our annual “Sport for the Mind™” celebration. And celebrate we must! Growing from a humble high school gym in New Hampshire with 28 competing teams in 1992, FIRST is now a global phenomenon impacting the lives of millions of participants, Alumni, parents, Mentors, and fans in more than 60 countries. This year, we continue to celebrate the passion, dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work of these students, Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers, as well as political and educational leaders, and corporate Sponsors. Together we share the belief that anything is possible if we nurture and develop the next generation of technology and engineering leaders.
Our goal is to provide the opportunity for kids to see and experience science and technology as fun and exciting, and to ignite a passion in them to explore these disciplines as future careers. The critical mission of FIRST has always been to inspire kids of all ages to develop life skills that will serve them well into adulthood and create better world citizens.
What you are about to witness is the pure excitement of competition at every level! This season, more than 29,000 FIRST teams competed throughout the world. Many of them have gathered here to showcase our Progression of Programs — four robotics competitions spanning grades K-12. Participants in Junior FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® LEGO® League will amaze us with what they’ve discovered about the challenges that senior citizens face as they grow older in Super SeniorsSM and Senior SolutionsSM. Middle and high school students will go head to head with robots of their own design in the FIRST® Tech Challenge RING IT UP!SM and FIRST® Robotics Competition ULTIMATE ASCENTSM games.
Many thanks are in order. We’d like to thank the Governor of the great state of Missouri, Jay Nixon; the Mayor of St. Louis, Francis G. Slay; and the entire city, as well as the St. Louis Science Center, for welcoming us for a third year and generously spreading the word of our arrival. We’d also like to thank the many businesses, citizens, and tireless local Volunteers who help to make this event possible. It is always vital that we thank our army of Mentors, Volunteers, Alumni, and supporters. Thank you. Without you, FIRST would not exist.
Our mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all. You can help us in our quest to change lives and change the world. Become a Mentor. Help raise funds. Sponsor a team. Commit your company’s time, people, and resources. Help spread the word wherever you can. It all starts at USFIRST.ORG.
Let the games begin and best of luck to all FIRST teams!
Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder