FIRST® inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators 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 is More Than RobotsSM
FIRST participants gain the confidence — and community — to build their future. The More Than campaign was launched to dismantle labels for kids and promote self-esteem through STEM. (FIRST PSA). To get a deeper understanding of the transformative FIRST experience for participants, watch the 2022 Disney+ documentary, “More Than Robots.”
Through a progression of team-based robotics challenges and backed by a global network of mentors, coaches, volunteers, alumni, and sponsors, FIRST helps young people discover a passion for STEM and develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in today’s competitive workforce.
FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION(grades 9-12)
The varsity Sport for the MindTM, FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more, grades 9-12, are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
FIRST TECH CHALLENGE (grades 7-12)
FIRST TECH CHALLENGE is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE(grades PreK-8)
FIRST LEGO League introduces science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children ages 4-14 through fun, exciting hands-on learning. Participants gain real-world problem-solving experiences through a guided, global robotics program, helping today’s students and teachers build a better future together. Three divisions inspire youth to experiment and grow their critical thinking, coding, and design skills through hands-on STEM learning and robotics:
Friendly competition is at the heart of FIRST LEGO League CHALLENGE, as teams of students ages 9-14 engage in research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering – building and programming a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game.
In FIRST LEGO League EXPLORE (previously called FIRST LEGO League Junior), teams of students ages 6-10 focus on the fundamentals of engineering as they explore real-world problems, learn to design, and code and create unique solutions made with LEGO bricks and powered by LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0.
FIRST LEGO League DISCOVER – For children ages 4-6, this playful introductory STEM program ignites their natural curiosity and builds their habits of learning with hands-on activities in the classroom and at home using LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.
What National Business, Academia and Government are Saying about the value of FIRST
“FIRST is a lifestyle at Kettering – a gracious professionalism culture. We started offering FIRST Scholarships in 1999, making Kettering the third university in the country to do that. Along the way, we recruited great students who are a perfect fit for our University and co-op employers, and who now are great alumni. FIRST has been life changing for all of us. And once you’re in the FIRST family you stay!”
Bob Nichols; Director of External Affairs,Kettering University
Greg Vigil; Director, Industrial Business Development, Gates Corporation
Dave Lavery; NASA Program Executive for Solar System Exploration, NASA Headquarters
87% of FIRST participants are more interested in doing well in schooL.
89% of FIRST participants reported being more interested in going to college.
41% of FIRST participants major in Engineering, including 33% of women.
98% of FIRST gain improved problem solving skills, 95% increase time management skills and 93% increase conflict resolution skills.