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About FIRST®

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.



TNFIRST, Inc. is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation in Tennessee focused on connecting K12 students to the world of FIRST robotics and events. We believe that K12 students have the best opportunity at future success when they are exposed to the world of business and manufacturing during their middle and high school years.  Using the FIRST competitive robotics programs provides ALL students the opportunity to solve problems, work in a team environment, and get exposed to all aspects of business and technology.

Our Vision is to:

Celebrate and promote science, technology, and entrepreneurship as productive careers in our society.

Our Mission is to:

Provide resources and activities that build and expand mentor-based robotics programs throughout the state of Tennessee, thereby developing business, engineering, and manufacturing skills in the K12 student community to grow their problem-solving, team-building, leadership, and community engagement.


Board of Directors

  • Cary Busby -- Chair

  • Michael Wehrenberg – Secretary

  • Nancy Wentz – Treasurer

  • Mark Buckner – Board Member

  • Nick Pasquerilla - Board Member

Tennessee Regional Director

  • Christy Crouse

About FIRST in Tennessee


FIRST in Tennessee is a distributed matrix of organizations that provides operational support and access to all FIRST programs in Tennessee.  The organizations include:

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