FIRST Progression of Programs

FIRST Progression of Programs

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 over 30 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2015-2016 FIRST season attracted more than 400,000 youth and more than 200,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from 80+ 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.   

Learn more about Jr.FLL

Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL)

Jr.FLL captures young children’s inherent curiosity and directs it toward discovering the wonders of science and technology. This program features a real-world scientific concept to be explored through research, teamwork, construction, and imagination. Guided by adult Coaches, teams use LEGO®bricks to build a model that moves and develop a Show-Me Poster to illustrate their journey.

Children ages 6 to 9 get to:

  • Design and build a challenge-related model using LEGO components.
  • Create a Show-Me poster and practice presentation skills.
  • Explore challenges facing today’s scientists.
  • Discover real-world math and science.
  • Begin developing teamwork skills.
  • Choose to participate in events and celebrations.
  • Engage in team activities guided by Jr.FLL Core Values.

Read more about Jr.FLL 

Learn more about FLL

FIRST LEGO League (FLL)

In (FLL), children are immersed in real-world science and technology challenges. Teams design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous LEGO robots that perform a series of missions. Through their participation, children develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning that they can make a positive contribution to society.

Children ages 9 to 16 (9-14 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) get to:

  • Create innovative solutions for challenges facing today’s scientists as part of their research project.
  • Strategize, design, build, program, and test a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology.
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts.
  • Develop employment and life skills including critical thinking, time management, collaboration, and communication while becoming more self confident.
  • Become involved in their local and global community.
  • Choose to participate in official tournaments and local events.
  • Qualify for an invitation to World Festival.
  • Engage in team activities guided by FLL Core Values.

Resources for Alaska Coaches

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Learn more about FTC

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)

(FTC) is designed for high-schoolers who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX® platform that is reusable from year-to-year using a variety of languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

Students get to: 

  • Design, build, and program robots.
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts.
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills.
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances at tournaments.
  • Earn a place in the World Championship.
  • Qualify for over $11 million in college scholarships.

Resources for Alaska Coaches

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Learn more about FRC

FIRST Robotics Competition

Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™(FRC) 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 are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.

Students get to:

  • Work alongside professional engineers.
  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design.
  • Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software.
  • Develop design, project management, programming, teamwork, and strategic thinking skills.
  • Earn a place in the Championship.
  • Qualify for over $16 million in college scholarships.

Read more about FRC