Blog Post

Growing & Connecting the FIRST Community in Upstate, NY

Upstate, New York has had a long heritage in technology and innovation. Some of the greatest technology companies in the world which include General Electric, Kodak, Xerox, Corning and IBM were founded here. The Upstate, NY region is also home to some of the greatest innovators and technologist in the world, Willis Carrier invented the modern day air conditioning, George Eastman simplified the way we take photos, and more recently Paul Buchheit lead the development of Gmail.

FIRST or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology aspires to inspire young people to explore the world of Science & Technology, by engaging young people in annual challenges which require them to apply the Math & Science skills they learned in the classroom to real life problem in a team setting.

When Dean Kamen founded the FIRST Organization in the early 1990’s two of the original FIRST teams were from Upstate, NY.  The “X-Cats” originated from Rochester, NY and The “Rocketeers” originated from Clifton Park, NY. In the decades that followed the FIRST program continued to grow and evolve, new programs were added that made the program more accessible to a wider range of young people (K-12) and new teams emerged across Upstate, NY.

FIRST has been a critical element to Upstate, New York’s Innovation economy. Many of the students that have participated in the program have gone on to become the engineers, scientist, doctors, and programmers at our regional institutions, companies and startups.

Near the end of last year the Regional Planning Committee brainstormed ways to grow and strengthen the FIRST Community across Upstate, NY. As a result of that brainstorming process we put together a plan to design and develop a website target towards the FIRST community across Upstate, NY.

This new website upstatenyfirst.org will be an informative resource for everyone in the Upstate, NY community to:

Our goal is to inspire the next generation of young people to be the next leaders in Science & Technology. Help us spread the word!