What Is FIRST?
FIRST is a non-profit, educational organization that was founded to inspire young people about science and technology by bringing together professional mentors with high school students from around the world.
FIRST was founded in 1989. In the first year 28 teams at one event played in the FIRST Robotics Competition in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium. In 2007, over 1300 teams, with many corporate sponsors, competed in 17 regional events and the National Championship event in Atlanta, Georgia. FIRST also sponsors a FIRST LEGO League competition and a series of education-related projects and programs. FIRST is a 501 (c)(3) organization headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, imagines a day when the act of invention – that is, the work of scientists, engineers and technologists – is as revered in the popular culture as music, athletics and entertainment are today. The FIRST vision is to inspire in young people, their schools and communities, an appreciation of science and technology and an understanding that mastering these can enrich the lives of all.
How It Works
Through a large, successful and growing community of educators, parents, community leaders, engineers, volunteers and sponsors, FIRST builds alliances that inspire and prepare the talent pool, workforce, leaders and capable, technologically literate citizens of tomorrow. FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.
The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of students and their mentors to design and build a robot in a six-week time frame, using a standard “kit of parts”. The team has to analyze the game and strategize what type of robot would perform well. Typical teams meet months in advance of the building period to learn basic skills and to become better prepared. The goal isn’t simply to build a robot; the robot is a vehicle for learning much more. The real goal is building a collaborative team, a supportive community and a solid strategy for problem solving during the competition.
The average team competing is comprised of 35 students and 6 adult mentors; however, entire schools, school districts and communities are involved with FIRST. Typically a corporate sponsor funds the team.
FIRST redefines winning for these students. Scoring the greatest number of points is terrific, but winning comes with excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism, the ability and maturity to overcome obstacles. Winning means building partnerships with other students, with professionals, between school and business and among communities.
FIRST and 772 - What It Means To Us
“FIRST is a measure of our team’s achievement. We strive and work hard for 6 weeks to move toward this goal. Nothing is better than knowing that your hard work has paid off.”
-Leah Allen, Alumnus
“FIRST provides us with an excellent medium to come together as a team, school, and community to not only further our technical knowledge relating to robotics, but to develop so many other skills and form great memories that will last a lifetime.”
-Adam Bulkiewicz, Alumnus
“FIRST is about having fun with your friends while learning life skills.”
-Joe Mancini, Alumnus
“FIRST is an oppertunity for students to learn skill sets that they would use later on in life. FIRST is like an apprenticeship, but for a short session. You learn the shortcuts to things you already know how to do, and expand on them.”
-Chris Miles, Mentor
“FIRST supplies me a role that applies my expertise to think outside the box. As a Communications member I was encouraged to take advantage of my learning environment. Unlike other after school activities, FIRST robotics continues to motivate us to strive to remain competetive. My team gave me a feeling of achievment and hard work plus the flexibility to balance both my school work and social life.”
-Sophia Simone, Alumnus
“FIRST is an opportunity to learn and intellectually grow in a hands-on environment.”
-Rebecca Philipose, Alumnus
“FIRST is a learning experience that I will never forget.”
-Jaeleen Koscielski, Alumnus
-Lee Awad, Mentor & Teacher Supervisor
If you would like learn more about the FIRST organization, you can receive more information here.
If you would like to create your own FRC team, click here for more information.
If you would like to see the FIRST Calender, click here.