ECIA Foundation Supports Engineers Week and FIRST Robotics

ECIA is proud to support STEM education during Engineers Week. The successful For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) Program provides an exciting venue for science-minded kids to compete on a level that rivals their athlete peers. With programs that involve children from elementary school age through high school, FIRST® ignites that spirit of competitiveness, creativity and wonder. ECIA supports this extraordinary program and offers member companies several opportunities to participate.

Exclusive Internship Portal

ECIA members can take advantage of an exclusive internship portal for FIRST® alumni. These students are some of the best and brightest and have twice the inclination to study engineering and science as other students. The portal is designed to provide a seamless connection point between these talented students and FIRST® supporters.  Members can learn more about the Internship Portal or post your opportunity here.

The facts are pretty impressive – FIRST® changes lives and propels students toward advance degrees. View an infographic on the impact from a study conducted by Brandeis University or download the study.

ECIA member companies provide support in a number of ways: supplying components to the team Kit of Parts; mentoring teams; sponsoring regional competitions and direct funding. Learn more about the tax advantages of supporting STEM education.

FIRST Alliance Partnership

ECIA Foundation and FIRST® joined forces to ‘ignite young minds’ to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). ECIA is already a Silver Supplier to the FIRST® Robotics Competition with members donating electronic components to the kit of parts, sponsoring events and providing direct funding to teams.

Our Strategic Alliance partnership offers ECIA Foundation members the opportunity to engage in FIRST® programs as Volunteers, Coaches and Mentors at the local level in support of organization objectives and community outreach efforts. Members can be a valuable resource to a new generation by providing an industry perspective and first-hand knowledge of the global electronic component supply chain. Understanding the career opportunities available will help FIRST® students make informed decisions about their future.

Together, ECIA Foundation and FIRST® want to empower students to enrich their lives, realize their potential, and become outstanding future employees and citizens. Fostering a passion for STEM subjects today will shape education and career decisions tomorrow.

The Founder, Dean Kamen

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.

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® LEGO® League Junior: Captures young curiosity by exploring real-world scientific challenges, learning teamwork, and working with motorized LEGO® elements

FIRST® LEGO League: Elementary and middle school-aged students research a real-world engineering challenge, develop a solution, and compete with LEGO-based robots of their own design

FIRST® Tech Challenge: Teams of middle and high school-aged students are challenged to design, build, and program a robot to play a floor game against other teams’ creations

FIRST® Robotics Competition: High school-aged teams compete head to head on a special playing field with robots they have designed, built, and programmed

The FIRST® Mission

“Our 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, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

Dubbed a “varsity sport for the mind,” FRC® combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering that a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

Please visit the FIRST® Robotics Competition web site for more details about FIRST®’s mission and program at

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