FIRST Robotics was created in 1989 to reach out to and inspire high school students to explore and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
By encouraging interest in these critical fields at a young age, the Group is helping develop the technical skills necessary for the workforce of the future. The FIRST family of initiatives has grown to include FIRST Tech Challenge, as well as FIRST Lego League for younger students. Over the past 17 years, The Chrysler Foundation and Chrysler Group have supported these programs across the US and Canada, with approximately € 140,000 donated in 2013.
In 2013, Chrysler Group sponsored 23 FIRST Robotics teams involving a total of approximately 575 students in high schools across the United States. During the year, the program was also extended to seven schools in Canada, with 175 students participating. Support included not only financial contributions from The Chrysler Foundation, a founding sponsor, but also the time and talents of Chrysler Group employees and retirees who served as mentors and volunteers. Approximately 2,000 hours during company time were contributed by 47 mentors, with many more hours of personal time devoted to FIRST Robotics activities. Each year, the teams are given a specific task and are asked to build a robot to perform it. Teams have six weeks to design, build and test their machines under the supervision of the mentors.