FIRST, founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology, is an acronym meaning For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. As an international youth organization, FIRST operates the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League, Junior FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST Tech Challenge competitions.
FIRST Robotics Competition
Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™(FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.
Students get to:
Work alongside professional engineers.
Build and compete with a robot of their own design.
Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software.
Develop design, project management, programming, teamwork, and strategic thinking skills.
Earn a place in the Championship.
Qualify for over $16 million in college scholarships.
FIRST's 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 communication and leadership.