Impact of FIRST Robotics on students' education and career choices
Brandeis University recently published the results of an independent study in which they investigated the impact participation in FIRST Robotics Competitions has on later education and career choices. They found that, compared to non-FIRST students with similar backgrounds, that FIRST students are:
1) More than 3 times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
2) Roughly 10 times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year.
3) Significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree.
4) More than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology.
Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
Additional details on the study can be found here.
A study like this is great news for FLL and for Lego as well.
A retrospective study isn't the "gold standard" in terms of methodology, but it should be sufficient in this case. After all, adults should remember whether or not they've been in FLL (even if they can't remember what they had for breakfast yesterday). :)
In 1989, I was graduating high school when F.I.R.S.T. was just getting started and I didn't get a chance to participate in college. However, I know for a fact that learning of F.I.R.S.T. and Dean Kamen's work towards a better world future has personally improved my life course. The world is very lucky to have this foundation. It is very important to hold the attention of children and guide them towards building a great future for themselves and the world. FIRST is providing the tools.