For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Founded by Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has, over the past 20+ years, generated interest in the science and technology fields in many students through its various programs, including FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition), FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge), and FLL (FIRST LEGO League).
FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, the non-profit organization designs innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
About the Creator
FIRST was founded twenty-five years ago by Dean Kamen, a tireless inventor, entrepreneur, and advocate for science and technology. His passion and enthusiasm in helping young people discover the rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST.
FIRST’s long term goals include motivating the next generation of young men & woman to become science and technology leaders. By engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, FIRST hopes to inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Their mission statement is as follows:
“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”
How it Works
FIRST is an international high school robotics league. FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) teams consist of high school students that compete to build robots that can perform specific tasks, which change every year. Teams are given a standard kit of parts, and the game details are revealed at the beginning of January (the kick-off). We are given six weeks (the build season) to construct a competitive robot that can be operated by wireless controls, as well as autonomously, to accomplish the tasks of the game.
Last year, for example, the main challenge involved constructing a robot that could shoot frisbees accurately into pre-set goals. This year, FRC’s challenge is dubbed “Aerial Assist,” where groups of three robot teams have to work together to pass, catch, and shoot gigantic two-foot wide balls into pre-set goals. This year’s games have shifted their attention from individualized rounds to alliance based battles, in which synergy and communication with alliance members is an absolute necessity. A short, two-minute video summarizing “Aerial Assist” can be found below.
Partaking in an FIRST Robotics Competition requires teamwork, business knowledge, interpersonal skills, and of course, a little bit of common sense. For anyone out there interested in getting involved with FRC, understand that there is a an immense amount of time and dedication that goes into crafting the “perfect robot.” In the end, however, witnessing all of your robot’s parts, from motors to potentiometers to that frustrating code you’ve been tinkering with for weeks, come together is truly amazing sight. Take our word for it: it’ll all be worth it in the end. We guarantee it.
For specific details regarding FIRST people, places, and events, please feel free to explore their website.