Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to promote interest in science, engineering, and technology among young people by providing programs that allow students to be involved in these areas. FIRST has over 130,000 volunteers and 3,500 sponsors nationwide. There are over 350,000 students nationwide, with 32,600 teams and 28,800 robots. FIRST also provides $19 million in scholarships to students involved in FIRST who are going into science or engineering related programs. What does this mean? FIRST is a huge international organization that has been helping kids for 25 years.
There are several different levels of competition:
Jr. FLL (K – 3rd grades): Uses only Lego parts to create a robot that must fit in a 12x12x12 in. starting area
FLL (4th – 8th grades): Uses only Lego parts to create a robot that must fit in a 12x12x12 in. starting area
FTC (7th – 12th grades): can use nearly any safe building materials, robot must fit in an 18 in. cube
FRC (9th -12th grades): can use nearly any safe building materials, 120 pound robot weight limit
FIRST also promotes teams working together and sharing through terms like Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®
Our team is part of FIRST FTC League, the middle level of the three robotics groups FIRST has created. Our challenge is to create and build a robot once a year to complete a complex set of challenges modeled after sports and obstacle courses.
To learn more about FIRST, please visit http://www.usfirst.org/