FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1992 by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers. When they began, they had 28 teams, all competing in a New Hampshire high school gym. Today FIRST has over 130,000 participating members on more than 1300 teams around the world with nearly 11,000 robots. The FRC (FIRST Robotics Challenge) games have evolved as well from “Maize Craze,” the first game in 1992; to “Co-Operation FIRST,” the FRC game in 2000; and finally to “Breakaway,” this year’s current FRC game. The FIRST organization also has two smaller leagues the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) and FLL (FIRST Lego League). However, FIRST is not really about the game. FIRST is about spreading knowledge to kids and also the concept of “Gracious Professionalism.” Gracious Professionalism can be described as having a competitive nature, yet still treating each other as equals, helping those who need it and treating each other kindly and with respect. For more information on FIRST and it’s vision go to USFIRST.org.
The FIRST Vision:
“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.”
The FIRST Mission Statement:
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.