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Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international robotics competition that attracted more than 137,000 children from 42 countries as contestants in 2009. The purpose of FIRST is to inspire children, especially girls and minorities, to pursue careers in science and mathematics. Kamen, a prolific inventor (more than 440 patents) and a member of the National Inventor Hall of Fame, is best known for his invention of the Segway Human Transporter. The president of DEKA Research & Development Corp., he is working on a water-purification system to solve the world shortage of drinkable water.