NASA is offering $20 million in support of the robotics non profit organisation ‘FIRST’ or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
The money will be used by FIRST to support a national level program to interest students in science, technology and mathematics with a special focus on robotic technology.
This is a part of the Robotics Alliance Project through which NASA had asked for proposals from non profit and educational institutes to design and administer a robotics outreach competition. It received many proposals and chose the one from FIRST.
FIRST is based in Manchester, New Hampshire, and hosts a yearly robotics competition for children. It also hosts other robotics related educational events. It was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to help develop student interest in STEM topics.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that this would be the largest NASA-funded student program geared toward robotics activities. There will be more than 45 regional competitions and the regional competitions will culminate with an international championship in April.