FIRST Robotics and National PTA

Dee Jones has been a PTA volunteer since 1995. Dee served as Diversity Committee Chair and currently serves as Membership Representative on the National PTA Board of Director. She also serves on the Indiana PTA Board of Managers and is the Hammond Council PTA President.

FIRST_BlogUnder the leadership of Jan Harp Domene, National PTA President, 2007-2009, the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Programs was introduced to PTA members.  This was the beginning of a relationship that continues today.  During that first collaborative event that PTA attended, robots were demonstrating the annual game, FIRST Overdrive.  Since then, FIRST teams are invited to display their robots at the annual National PTA Convention, and in turn, National PTA has been a constant at the FIRST exhibit hall. This year the FIRST Regional Championship will be in St. Louis.

It is overwhelming to see how many PTA leaders and members are supporting the different teams, these include the FIRST Lego League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).  Their response to seeing National PTA at these events has been a pleasant surprise.  Since the reason most of us got involved in PTA was to support our children, PTA members are glad to see PTA promoting something that they and their children are involved in.

FIRST has been a great partnership and a great opportunity to provide information and support to PTA members and non-members from across the world.  Many states invite teams to participate in their state conventions and the attendees love it.  This is the perfect match since PTA promotes and supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.  PTA and FIRST…making a difference in the lives of the children we serve.  Finally, this is also a wonderful program  to reach  underrepresented students by informing  them of the learning opportunities  and the $19 million dollars available in scholarships.

This is the beginning of the FRC season.  This year’s competitive game is Aerial Assist. Please plan to visit a regional event in your state and get involved.  This is truly a great opportunity for our young people. For more information visit

FIRST Progression of Programs

For students aged 6-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For Sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2012-2013 FIRST season attracted more than 300,000 youth and more than 120,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from 70+ countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path

Dean Kamen is an 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 Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) 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.

Congratulations to the National Society of Black Engineers
Chicago Professionals Chapter for their National Engineers Week Program!
National Society of Black Engineers: Engineers Week 2014 K-12 Program

 This program highlights the work that NSBE is doing with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego Robotics Program.

NSBE Chicago Professionals was founded to fulfill the NSBE mission “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community” in the Greater Chicago area.

These individuals have graduated and work in the technical professional industry.

They endeavor to spark and sustain children’s and young adult interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and transform the NSBE professionals into the premier technical professional organization of choice.

This year they are Developing, Elevating, and Sustaining the Professional Brand.  The focus is to:

  1. Enhance the Pipeline of Black Engineers
  2. The Development of Technical Professionals
  3. Encourage Black Women in STEM

For more information:

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