FIRST, standing for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is a non-profit organization that seeks to boost interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) and develops young people into leaders of those fields. Founded in 1989, FIRST has created many team-structured opportunities to help accomplish their goals, such as FLL (FIRST Lego League), FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge), and FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition).
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. The FIRST Robotics Competition tests the ability of teams and their mentors to complete a challenge in a six-week time frame using a common set of rules. Teams build robots from industrial-grade parts and enter them in competitions designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.
FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for more than just their robot’s ability to win. Not only are teams recognized for excellence and creativity in robot design, but they must also demonstrate team spirit, involvement in their communities, gracious professionalism, maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building skills and partnerships that last.