FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers as a way to inspire young student’s interest in science and technology (FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”). Their headquarters are in Manchester, New Hampshire
Since FIRST started, there have been 18 different FRC games, each with different rules, arenas, objectives, and strategies. FIRST has given many students the opportunity to showcase their skills in an exciting arena. The games are designed to mimic the teamwork, strategy, and competitive nature needed to succeed in sports.
Besides the FRC competition, FIRST also conducts the FIRST LEGO League, Junior FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST Tech Challenge. Having multiple challenges enables FIRST to extend their vision to all age groups.
FIRST Vision and Goals
“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.” – Dean Kamen, Founder
“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.” – FIRST Website
Dr. Woodie Flowers, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology coined the term Gracious Professionalism to explain his vision of FIRST’s ethos. It is meant to combine fierce competition with mutual gain in order to teach life lessons to students active in FIRST. Students are taught that although competing with other the other teams, they should treat their competitors with kindness and respect.