What is FIRST Robotics Competition?

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week time frame using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a series of competitions designed by FIRST. Team members are rewarded for excellence in design, team spirit, gracious professionalism, and maturity. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last and applying math, science, and technical skills.

To quote FIRST, FIRST is an organization that “[Combines] the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind.” FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST Robotics Competition, a division of FIRST, achieves this easily by challenging students to come up with their own designs to best fit any scenario thrown at them. It becomes a true sport when students compete against each other to determine whose product will win out. Students must not only design robots, but build, program, strategize, scout other robots, and market and advertise their product, making this something truly anyone can participate in.

What FIRST Means To Me

by Gerald Ashmore

“For inspiration and recognition in science and technology, those are the words that serve as an academic blueprint for millions of students all over the world. The students who compete in FIRST competitions are the architects of that blueprint. FIRST is an opportunity for students unlike any other. It extends far beyond just basic teaching of skills used in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, as one might expect. FIRST allows students to develop leadership skills; to be faced with a problem, and come up with a solution to solve it, all while leading others and teaching them to solve those problems on their own. FIRST teaches that although winning is one of the main goals, the ultimate goal is to have fun and help out those who need it. They develop confidence in themselves; they develop the ability to speak in public. They also make connections with professionals that help guide you. When someone joins a FIRST team, they don’t just join a fun club at school, they join a family. They make memories with each other that will last a lifetime. Millions of people all over the world, from the students themselves to the mentors and volunteers, have been affected by FIRST. Joining a FIRST team is the best thing a student can do to be successful in all areas of life.”