“FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect – of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future.” – Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST
Founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor extraordinaire, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit, international, organization that motivates high school students to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM, all while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills in their accessible, innovative, and infamous FIRST Family of Programs – FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition.
“FIRST is More Than Robots.” FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st-century work-life skills.
FIRST FAMILY OF PROGRAMS
“It’s never too early to discover STEM.“ FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO!
FIRST LEGO League Jr. challenges kids to explore a real-world scientific problem. They create Show Me posters that illustrate their journey of discovery and introduces their team, while also constructing a motorized model of what they learned using LEGO elements.
“Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork.“
FIRST LEGO League, made up of teams of up to 10 Grade 4 through 8 students, challenges students to research a real-world problem and develop a solution to such issue. They must design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS kits, then compete on a table-top playing field.
“It’s way more than building robots.”
FIRST Tech Challenge, made up of teams of 10+ Grade 7 through 12 members, challenges students to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.
Using pre-made specialized robotic kits and additional custom parts, FIRST Tech Challenge is often through of as a smaller, less intense version of the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) Program.
“Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.“
Often called the ultimate Sport for the Mind, FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of high-school students to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors, all under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit.
It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get, dubbed as “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”