What is FIRST?

FIRST® stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®)

In 1992 FIRST® began the FIRST® Robotics Competition with 28 teams and a single 14 x 14 foot playing field in a New Hampshire high school gym. Today, it has more than 2,000 teams participating nationwide and internationally, in over 60 Regional events and in a culminating Championship event in April of each year.

FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be.

The FIRST® Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.

FIRST® redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.

What is unique about the FRC® program?

  • It is a sport where the participants play with the pros and learn from them
  • Designing and building a robot is a fascinating real-world professional experience
  • Competing on stage brings participants as much excitement and adrenaline rush as conventional varsity tournaments
  • The game rules are a surprise every year

Learn more about the FIRST® Robotics Competition at the official FIRST® website.

FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®)

The FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) is a mid-level robotics competition for high-school students that launched in 2005. It offers the traditional challenge of a FIRST® Robotics Competition but with a more accessible and affordable robotics kit. The ultimate goal of FTC® is to reach more young people with a lower-cost, more accessible opportunity to discover the excitement and rewards of science, technology, and engineering.

Learn more about the FIRST® Tech Challenge at the official FIRST® website.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®)

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in kids ages 9 to 16. Each year FLL® teams embark on an adventurous Challenge based on current, real-world issues. Guided by a team coach and assisted by mentors, the kids research and solve a real-world problem based on the Challenge theme, present their research and solutions, and build an autonomous robot using engineering concepts.

Learn more about the FIRST® LEGO® League at the official FIRST® website.

FIRST® LEGO® League Junior (FLL® Jr.)

The newest FIRST® program, FLL® Junior introduces the youngest students to the exciting world of science and technology. Just like FLL®, this program features a real-world challenge, to be solved through research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, students work with LEGO® elements and moving parts to create solutions and present them for review.

Learn more about the FIRST® LEGO® League Junior at the official FIRST® website.

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