FIRST®

F.I.R.S.T (firstinspires.org) stands for: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.  It was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen.  FIRST was created in order to introduce kids and teenagers to science and technology.  FIRST makes accessible programs to encourage youth to look into careers and education in engineering, science, math and technology.  It helps teenagers build on their confidence and life skills.

FIRST has several different leagues, for different age groups.  The Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL) is for children ages 6-9.  The FIRST Lego League (FLL) is for kids ages 9-14.  FLL and Jr. FLL introduce kids to programming and engineering through making Lego robots.  The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is open to teens ages 12-18.  The FTC includes a challenge that the teams must compete in by using the robot kit they are given; the robot kits can be reused from year to year.  The FIRST Robotics competition (FRC) is for teens ages 14-18. The FRC has teams make a robot to fit the requirements for the current year's competition.  The competition changes every year and there are many rules which each team must adhere to.  We are in the FRC.

FIRST tries to enforce the idea of teamwork and remaining professional in the heat of competition.  Dr. Woodie Flowers, a FIRST National Adviser, created the term "Gracious Professionalism".  Gracious Professionalism is the idea that opposing teams should treat each other with respect and to work hard but not to be bad sports. FIRST also stresses the concept of Cooperation.  Cooperation also pushes the idea of respect, be it within your team, the competitor teams, or the officials.  It also teaches teams to help and teach one another, as well as learn from one another.