What is FIRST?
Inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen founded FIRST nearly 20 years ago, creating a school-to-career pipeline through which young people are inspired to explore opportunities in science and technology. He believed that culture could be positively transformed by inspiring young people and encouraging their schools and communities to appreciate science and technology. FIRST has successfully formed coalitions with corporations, universities, and public schools to become the premier after-school engineering and robotics competition programs in the nation.
FIRST offers accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people from the time they start school through high school graduation and offers opportunities for learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Through its continued success, FIRST is determined to make Dean Kamen’s hope a reality, “to create a world where science and technology are celebrated . . . where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.” FIRST programs include:
- Junior FIRST LEGO League for grades K-3,
- FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for grades 4*-8,
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for grades 9*-12, and
- FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) also for grades 9-12
*Please note that lower age limits are recommendations and some students may wish to participate in these programs at younger ages.