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).

Core Values

Gracious Professionalism: cooperating with other teams in a manner that respects each individual, inspires others to achieve more, and adds to the mutual benefits for everyone participating in FIRST

Coopertition: maintaining a professional and kind demeanor toward others during all levels and types of competitions


"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