The majority of the information on this page was taken directly from the FIRST website to ensure the wording stayed true to the FIRST mission. We encourage you to read more about FIRST and its programs by clicking HERE.
"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
Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
WHAT IS FIRST?
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 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2011-2012 FIRST season attracted close to 300,000 youth and more than 100,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from 60+ 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.
Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term "Gracious Professionalism®." Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like they are beneath them. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.
Coopertition® produces innovation. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. It is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.
For more information, please visit http://www.usfirst.org.
FIRST FAMILY OF PROGRAMS
FIRST in Michigan (FiM): The official website of FIRST in Michigan
FIRST Alumni: Are you current or soon to be FIRST Alumni? If yes, please share your email address and opt-in to receive important alumni information from FIRST.
FIRST Scholarships: Many colleges, universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school participants on FIRST teams.
The Blue Alliance: Team information, videos and results from FIRST Robotics competitions
Chief Delphi: Discussion forum used to discuss the FIRST Robotics Competition
AndyMark: AndyMark invents and designs components for robotics and mobility applications.