FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, better known as the inventor of the Segway Human Transporter. FIRST encourages its participants to embrace science, engineering, and technology by engaging bright young minds in cooperative and creative problem solving, while upholding the ideal of Gracious Professionalism®. Part of the very foundation of this organization, Gracious Professionalism® is a principle of FIRST that adovcates diligence, integrity, and friendly competition. Through such beliefs, the FIRST community looks to further utilize STEM as a vehicle to create well-rounded future leaders proficient both in knowledge and in communication.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
FIRST annually hosts a competition in which thousands of teams from all over the world, encompassing hundreds of thousands of students, compete in an intense program which is a test of ingenuity and tenacity.
Each team builds a robot designed to participate in a type of arena game, the parameters of which are changed every year and require the robots to have certain functions that allow them to compete. The robots must be built within a period of six weeks, and are then used in competitions which are held all over the country.
Students are exposed to the process of design, fabrication, assembly and testing, as well as repair and troubleshooting; and have the opportunity to use computer aided design software and programming languages. The program is an excellent tool that the involved engineers and corporate sponsors use to prepare the next workforce.
FIRST LEGO® League (FLL)
FIRST has partnered with The LEGO® Group to host an annual robotics competition for younger students. The competition is designed to help younger students gain experience in science and technology and teach them employment and life skills.
Each team is mentored by an adult coach and older students, many from local FRC teams. They build a robot using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set based on a game that FIRST releases every year. They then attend FLL tournaments.
FLL teaches young students the skills of designing and building robots, as well as basic programming logic. The FIRST LEGO® League prepares students for bigger challenges in science and technology as they grow older.
For more information, please visit the FIRST website at www.usfirst.org.