FIRST Mission Statement: Our mission is to inspire and reach out to young people to become leaders in math, science, and engineering by including them in mentor-supported programs that strengthen skills in math, science, and engineering, that expands innovation, and promotes life sustaining attributes including perseverance, communication, and leadership.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an exciting international robotics program that incorporates the fun and exciting elements from sports to a dynamic team building experience that promotes the use of math, science, and engineering. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, iBot wheelchair, and many other medical devices.
FIRST was established from partnerships with various business corporations, educational institutes, and government sponsored programs. It receives funding, in-kind donations, and volunteers from many Fortune 500 companies.
FRC is a unique and life changing experience for high school students which helps them discover the excitement and rewarding aspects in the fields of science and engineering.
High school students have the opportunity to work side by side with mentors from professional engineering positions to solve a common problem in a six week time frame using their KOP (“kit of parts”) and previous knowledge of the rules.
In addition to designing and building a competition robot, FIRST teams uphold gracious professionalism, a crucial part of the FIRST culture that teaches important business conduct and skills for life. The theory behind gracious professionalism is that teams should show respect at all times, be friendly to everyone, and maintain a positive attitude. In FIRST, students and adults are encouraged to give support to other teams when they need help without desiring anything in return. The main goal of this concept is to teach others that though there may be opponents in FIRST, there are no enemies.
More information can be found on the FIRST website.
FIRST operates four main programs
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) : A high school-level competition that competes in a six week time frame with the help of professional mentors.
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) : Another high school-level program that gives students an additional chance to get involved with FIRST.
- FIRST LEGO League (FLL) : A program geared for children 9-14 years of age that uses the LEGO MINDSTORMS technology to construct a fully functional and autonomous robot.
- Jr. FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) : A less intense version of FLL for children aged 6-9 years of age.