For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is an organization that has dedicated it’s mission to increase an interest in engineering and other sciences by challenging young students to build a robot in six weeks that is designed to complete certain tasks that change every year. FIRST is responsible for designing these annual challenges, and as the difficulty of the challenges seems to increase, so does the mechanical and intellectual capability of the students.

Dean Kamen, an inventor and advocate for technology and science, is the driving force behind FIRST. In 1989, Kamen founded FIRST in order to inspire young people to pursue science and technology and experience engineering in hands-on situations.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) began as a group of 28 teams competing in a New Hampshire school gym, and from its modest beginnings, the FRC program now encompasses nearly 6,000 teams across the world. FRC is often called “The varsity Sport for the Mind” and gets high school students (Ages 14-18) involved in building robots from scratch that can weigh up to 120-pounds to compete in the annual challenges. Aside from the FRC, FIRST engages students of all ages through Jr. FIRST LEGO League (ages 6-9), FIRST LEGO League (ages 9-14), and FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 12-18).

FIRST’s Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” – usfirst.org

For more information about FIRST and their programs visit the FIRST website.

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