What is FIRST®?

FIRST, an acronym meaning “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”,  is an organization founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen. Kamen’s goal was to inspire students through science and technology and help students learn a wide range of skills necessary for future careers: engineering, programming, manufacturing, accounting, and marketing. To ensure that these strengths would be available to kids of all ages, Kamen created a progression of FIRST Robotics programs so that individuals could begin participating as young as age five and continue his or her robotics career through the end of high school. The various levels of participation go as follows: Junior FIRST Lego League (Grades K-3), FIRST Lego League (Grades 4-8), FIRST Tech Challenge (Grades 7-12), and FIRST Robotics Competition (Grades 9-12). 

FIRST  Core Values

Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.

Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.

Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.

Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.

Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.

Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!


"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."

- Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST