FIRST, the acronym for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is an organization founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen that inspires children and teens to become involved in science and technology.
FIRST is a passionate form of robotics available to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are many opportunities provided by the organization for students who wish to succeed in pursuing a career in the science and technology field.
There are four levels of FIRST robotics: FLL Jr., FLL, FTC, and FRC. Each level provides a real life engineering challenge every year. The teams’ challenge is to figure out a solution to the given situation, which is to construct a “robot” to fulfill the obstacles of the game, as well as to conceptualize an idea to solve problems that are occurring in the real-world. Depending on the level, the competitions vary as to the complexity of the solutions and robots.
One factor that is constant at all levels of FIRST robotics is cooperation and the idea of Gracious Professionalism®, a way of completing tasks that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
FIRST also helps its participants by providing over twenty-million dollars in scholarship opportunities for students registered in the more advanced levels.