What is FIRST?

Founded in 1989, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) prides itself on its leadership in the scientific arena and its commitment to building a strong foundation for the country’s future workforce. Founder Dean Kamen, the recipient of the 2000 National Medal of Technology, has “awakened the innovative and imaginative leadership in America’s youth to the excitement of science and technology.” FIRST has competitions for several different age groups, from JFLL (Junior FIRST LEGO League) for elementary school students, FLL (FIRSTLEGO League) for middle school students, to FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) and FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) for high school students.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)

One of FIRST‘s main goals is promoting scientific innovation through the annual FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), designed to immerse high school students in real-life engineering in the spirit of “Gracious Professionalism” to others. FIRST has experienced exponential growth since its creation, and amazing success, as indicated by the hundreds of colleges offering scholarships to team members and the dozens of media networks that publicize the organization and its achievements.Each year FIRST develops the competition by supplying an objective to teams of students, who have six weeks to conceptualize, design, build, and test their robotic solution. Each year the objective is different; details are kept secret until early January, when they are simultaneously revealed to all teams during the Kick-Off.

Once the six weeks have passed, robots are transported to the competition site where teams will compete in March. Teams go head-to-head in a series of two-minute qualification and elimination rounds during a three-day competition. This format requires that teams strategize and build into their design both offensively and defensively. The robot that scores the most points during the two minutes wins each round, and the one that earns the most points in these rounds is declared champion.

FIRST Values

FIRST strives to teach not just engineering skills, but also life skills. FIRST pushes for teams to exemplify gracious professionalism and coopertition.Gracious professionalism is “the way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the values of others, and respects individuals and the community.” FIRST teams can demonstrate this ideal by promoting good sportsmanship and maintaining the integrity of our members and team. While teams are happy to receive awards and do well in competitions, teams never put other down.

Coopertition, a theme that’s especially prevalent in competitions, is “to display unqualified kindness and respect for other teams, even in the face of fierce competition.” FIRST teams cooperate with others even while competing, so teams can teach each other, promoting mutual learning.

For more info please refer to their website