FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. Founded by Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST is a nonprofit organization structured around a high-school robotics competition and is more than robots. The program combines gracious professionalism and technology, creating an environment that encourages STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, & Math) and inspiring students from different backgrounds. In addition to the students, mentors and post-secondary students partner with teams to teach students valuable skills while helping the teams succeed. FIRST not only sponsors and runs FIRST Robotics Competition but also FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Lego League and FIRST Lego League Jr. More information on these programs can be found below.
First Robotics Competition (FRC), the game we compete in, is designed for students in grades 9-12 with competitions world wide. A new game for us to design, build and compete in is released in the first week of January and then we have 6 weeks to build our robot and “bag n tag” it.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is designed for grades 7-12 and is basically a small scale FRC game. With everything from interesting and challenging games that push your mind to the limit to building a robot to compete in those game, FTC has it all. It’s also cheaper to run an FTC team rather than an FRC team.
FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a game where team of up to 10 members, from grades 4-8, design a mini robot using a LEGO MINDSTORM kit to compete and solve the games that focus around real world problems and their possible solutions. FLL is an amazing program for young students to get involved in the world of STEM. Our team personally runs an FLL team for our neighbouring school during the off season so that their students can really appreciate how STEM can have a positive effect on their lives.
FIRST Lego League Jr. (FLL Jr.) is a program for kids in kindergarten to grade 4 where kids design a mini robot out of LEGO MINDSTORMS to compete in a variety of games based around real world scientific problems and their possible solutions while getting the kids to interact with STEM. They also create a poster showing what their team has introduced them to and how it’s helped them.