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FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®)
FIRST®: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
FIRST is a non-profit organization with the goal of generating interest in science and engineering in young people from elementary through high school. The high-school level FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) accomplishes these goals in a special way by enabling the collaboration of professional engineers and business people with high-school aged young people to accomplish robotic game tasks. Not only does FIRST support science, it also hopes to create better people by teaching its creed of gracious professionalism. For instance, although the high school FIRST Robotics Competition is about creating an innovative robot, it also calls for helping other teams as much as possible. All of the FIRST Robotics teams are there for each other, whether they're providing parts and materials, creating custom machined parts for each other, or simply offering advice and suggestions. The FRC competition is based on alliances between teams, not going it alone.
FIRST is the brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, who created, among other inventions, the portable dialysis machine and the Segway. With the help of many major corporations - such as National Instruments, BAE, GM - the FIRST Robotics Competition has flourished into an organization from around the globe, including countries such as Canada, Mexico, England, Brazil, Israel, Australia, Turkey, Bosnia, and almost every state in the USA. With each recurring year, FIRST has expanded the number of competitions. In the 2017 season there were one hundred fifty events with Championships hosted in both St. Louis, MO. and Houston, Texas
FIRST has several thrusts, both education and competition based, to achieve it's goals:
- FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) is the high school level robotics competition we participate in and it's unique in that it emphasizes pairing students with professional engineers to expose them to the professional working world. (ages 14-18)
- FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) is a high school program that can be an end in itself or as a transistion from FLL to FRC (ages 14-18)
- FIRST® Lego® League (FLL®) competition for middle school students (ages 9-14)
- Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr. FLL) for ages 6-9.