"You have teenagers thinking they're going to make millions as NBA stars when that's not realistic for even 1 percent of them. Becoming a scientist or engineer is."
What is FIRST?
FIRST is an organization that was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST operates four separate competitions: FIRST Robotics Competition (ages 14-18), FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 14-18), FIRST Lego League (ages 9-14), and Junior FIRST Lego League (ages 6-9). Through these programs FIRST motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a high school level robotics competition that combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform in a complex competitions. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
FIRST Tech Challenge
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is another high school level competition, but on a smaller scale. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.
FIRST Lego League
FIRST Lego League (FLL) introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL is by far the largest FIRST competition, involving over 198,000 children from 50+ countries. Students in FLL teams learn key engineering and teamwork skills that prepare them for future high-paying careers.
Junior FIRST Lego League
Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr.FLL) is focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9. Jr.FLL features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.