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About FIRST ®

FIRST ® is an acronym meaning “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. The FIRST Robotics program began in 1992 by inventor Dean Kamen and MIT professor Dr. Woodie Flowers. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) started in New Hampshire with 28 teams and has since increased to more than 1,600 teams in 11 different countries. It was designed “to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.

FIRST′s Mission:

The foundation′s mission statement declares: “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.”

Another important aspect of FIRST is “Gracious Professionalism”, a term coined by Dr. Woodie Flowers. Gracious Professionalism encourages cooperation and communication between teams, even in the middle of a competition. Red Raider Robotics won the Gracious Professionalism award at the Buckeye regional competition in 2012.

FIRST uses the model of a sporting event in order to show students how exciting and engaging science and engineering can be. However, FIRST′s focus on Gracious Professionalism and sportsmanship make it stand apart from typical high school sporting events.

Programs offered by FIRST:

Other FIRST programs include the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO ® League, and Junior FIRST LEGO League. FIRST Programs cover all ages, from elementary school to high-school student participants, college-age to adult mentors and volunteers. Please visit the official FIRST website to learn more about these programs. (

Creators of FIRST:

Dean Kamen:

"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, FIRST Founder
Woodie Flowers:

"FIRST is a network of Gracious Professionals, passionately developing compassionate leaders from the youth of the world that will solve our global challenges by applying technology and scientific solutions to the hard problems humanity has yet to solve." -Woodie Flowers

-Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder