"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."
Dean Kamen, Founder
Although he holds hundreds of U.S. and foreign patents, one of the things Dean Kamen is most proud of is that he founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The program requires teams of students to come together with adult mentors and businesses from their community to build a robot that goes along with the challenge Dean and the other FIRST gurus announce each year. FIRST serves as a way to keep students excited and interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
FIRST is not only about the advancement of science and technology in our society, FIRST is also a vehicle for inspiring students to become better members of their community. It does this through coopertition, gracious professionalism, and student leadership. Coopertition is cooperating with your competition. At competitions, teams help each other out when they need assistance This could be answering questions or lending them a part for the robot. Gracious professionalism is the idea of respecting your competition and competing with integrity. Manners are used to help maintain this focus. The goal of FIRST is to have students take charge of what happens throughout the season. This means that the students assume leadership positions and they are able to gain valuable experience making decisions and figuring out how best to lead the team.
The FIRST Progression of programs:
- Jr. FIRST Lego League - Disaster Blaster
- Grades K-3
- Lego robots
- FIRST Lego League - Nature's Fury
- Grades 4-8
- Lego robots
- Project based on theme
- FIRST Tech Challenge - Block Party
- Grades 7-12
- Build robot with Tetrix or Matrix components
- 18" by 18" robots
- 4 robots on a field at a time
- Engineering Notebook
- FIRST Robotics Competition - Assist Aerial
- Grades 9-12
- Build robot form scratch
- 2 ft. by 3 ft. robots
- 6 Robots on a field at a time
- Chairman's Award among many other essay based awards
All of this information and more about FIRST can be found on the FIRST website. From there you can find information on everything FIRST has to offer, including the FIRST Robotics Competition.