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First® Receives Granite State Award from UNH Manchester

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FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization devoted to helping youth aged 6 to 18 develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math, has been named this year's recipient of UNH Manchester's 2012 Granite State Award.
 
The Granite State Award recognizes significant achievements, service, and/or contributions to the state. Jon Dudas, president of FIRST, will accept the award during the commencement Thursday, May 17.
 
FIRST robotics programs inspire innovation and foster live skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.  Few organizations have so successfully fulfilled their missions and contributed to the youth of New Hampshire and the nation as FIRST. Founded by Dean Kamen 20 years ago, FIRST began with 28 teams in a N.H. high school gym.
 
The 2011-2012 FIRST season attracted more than 26,800 teams, close to 300,000 youth and more than 100,000 mentors, coaches, and volunteers from more than 60 countries. The annual FIRST programs culminate in a FIRST Championship a celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
 
 Every participant comes to understand the meaning of the two guiding values of FIRST: Gracious professionalism TM and CoopertitionTM. Through Gracious Professionalism, students they treat one another with respect and kindness and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they have acted with integrity and sensitivity while also being fierce competitors.
 
The second value, CoopertitionTM, produces innovation and is founded on the philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.
 
 The outcomes of a FIRST experience tell a story of achievement. A recent study of participants has found that FIRST students are more than three times as likely to major in engineering; are approximately 10 times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year, and are significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree. FIRST participants are more than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology and nearly four times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering. FIRST participations also pay it forward as they are more than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
 
UNH Manchester's 27th Commencement proceedings will be held in Arms Park in Manchester's Millyard, behind the UNH Manchester campus, at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17.