FIRST is many things. In a simple sense, FIRST is a vision for the future. A future where kids aspire not only to be professional athletes or rockstars, but inventors and innovators in science, math, and technology.
From the FIRST website -
- It’s a competitive sport.
- It’s a life experience.
- It’s opportunity.
- It’s community.
- It’s amazing.
For students aged 6-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team mentors, coaches, and volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make.
FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. Founded nearly 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2014 FIRST season attracted more than 275,000 youth and more than 90,000 mentors, coaches, and volunteers from 56 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence,develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
Here are some facts from the FIRST website:
2014 FIRST Robotics Competition
- 2,727 teams
- 68,000+ high-school students (Grades 9-12)
- 54 Regional Events; 4 Qualifying Championships; 40 Qualifying (District) Competitions
- FIRST Robotics Competition Championship at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 23-26, 2014
- Robots are built in 6 weeks from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST, and typically weigh up to 150 lbs.