National 4-H Council Announces Alliance with FIRST

FIRST News Release

National 4-H Council Announces Alliance with FIRSTT

Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientific Thinkers Together

Manchester, NH and Chevy Chase, MD - April 17, 2009 - National 4-H Council today announced it is creating a new Alliance with FIRSTTM (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to reach new youth across the nation and expand existing 4-H robotics programs. This exciting new alliance, which will be announced and celebrated at the FIRST Championship on April 16-18 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, is designed to foster more opportunities for youth to explore science, engineering and technology (SET) careers by providing them with hands-on, team-based experiences through the designing, building and programming of robots.

Brought together by the shared pursuit of inspiring an appreciation of science and technology in young people throughout the nation, 4-H and FIRST will work together to promote scientific learning and the building of confidence and life skills among all K-12 youth.  4-H, through their One Million New Scientists. One Million New Ideas.TM campaign is working toward the goal to engage one million new young scientific thinkers by the year 2013.

"Research shows that children reach their full potential through a combination of involvement within families, schools and community," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., President and CEO, National 4-H Council. "Providing 4-H youth with opportunities like FIRST to participate in friendly and educational competitions allows us to foster team-building skills and heighten interest in exploring future careers in science, engineering and technology."

There are nearly 400,000 4-H youth throughout the nation already participating in university research-based robotics and engineering programs with 4-H clubs in nearly every state currently participating in FIRST programs. In addition, five high-school level 4-H teams will be competing at the FIRST Championship this year.

"The global economy is constantly demanding a more technologically competent workforce, and the value of practical application experiences like those 4-H and FIRST provide is immeasurable," said Paul R. Gudonis, FIRST President. "The FIRST, National 4-H Council Alliance will help both organizations to provide many more youth with the opportunity to experience FIRST and open up new horizons in science, technology, math and engineering."

About National 4-H Council
4-H is a community of more than six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H Headquarters (USDA). The 4-H programs are implemented by the 106 Land-Grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Learn more about 4 H at

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds. 


Media Contacts:

Kristin Walter                              
National 4-H Council   
Cheryl Walsh
603-666-3906 ext. 460