In Seth Godin's recent manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams - a critique of our nation's public school system - he praises the F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for its efforts in exciting youth about science and technology and teaching them valuable employment and life skills.
Here's the excerpt:
The largest robotics competition in the world organizes hundreds of thousands of kids into a nationwide competition to build fighting robots and other technical fun.
Last year, more than 300,000 students participated, surrounded by their peers and the 50,000 mentors and coaches who make the program possible. A recent university study of past participants found that FIRST participants in college were:
More than three times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
Roughly ten times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year.
Significantly more likely to achieve a post-graduate degree.
More than twice as likely to pursue a career in science and technology.
Nearly four times as likely to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
More than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
When you dream about building the best robot in the competition, you’ll find a way to get a lot done, and you’ll do it in a team. When you dream of making an impact, obstacles are a lot easier to overcome.
The magic of FIRST has nothing to do with teaching what a capacitor does, and everything to do with teamwork, dreams, and most of all, expectations. FIRST is a movement for communicating and encouraging passion.
Thanks for the recognition Seth! It's truly an honor to be a small part of such a remarkable volunteer organization that makes a difference by doing work that matters.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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