What Is FIRST?
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. FIRST is an international, non-profit organization. Its stated 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."
The high school level of FIRST robotics is entitled FIRST Robotics Competition, FRC for short.
FIRST is as close to actual engineering that you will find at the high school level. However, FIRST is not just about building a robot. FIRST teams maintain a financial and business plan and are involved in community outreach. There are critical roles for students in everything from design and building, to computer animation, video/photography, accounting, business, art design, fundraising, marketing and research. FIRST engages students on many levels preparing them for the jobs of the future and building “soft skills” such as teamwork, public speaking and self-confidence.
Connecticut is one of three states that currently recognizes FIRST Robotics as a Varsity Sport. The FRC is part of CIAC and holds a CIAC State Championship Event every spring. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”
“The Only Sport Where Everyone Can Go Pro: Robotics” -Dean Kamen