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For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
WHAT IS FIRST? FIRST is a non-profit, educational organization that was founded to inspire and excite young people about science and technology by bringing together professional mentors with students.
THE ORGANIZATION: FIRST was founded in 1989 and held its first robotics competition in 1992. From that modest beginning with 28 high school teams in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium, FIRST has expanded to include more than 13,000 elementary through high school teams in 38 countries. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) alone has grown from those original 28 teams to more than 1,500 teams, competing in 41 Regional events in Brazil, Canada, Israel, and the United States as well as Championship events at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. FIRST leagues include the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high school students, the FIRST LEGO League for ages 9 to 14, the FIRST Junior LEGO League for ages 6 to 9, and a variety of education-related projects and programs. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire.
VISION: World-famous inventor 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 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 enriches the lives of all.
HOW IT WORKS: FIRST builds alliances that inspire and prepare the workforce, leaders and capable, technologically literate citizens of tomorrow through a large, successful and growing community of educators, parents, community leaders, engineers, volunteers and sponsors. FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating teams and their supporters.
FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION (FRC): The FIRST Robotics Competition is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged students discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. FRC challenges teams of students and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.