WHAT'S FIRST®?  

ABOUT FIRST® PROGRAMS
 

OSIT and STEM Advisory Council Announce List of Recommended STEM Programs. 

FIRST was founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen in 1989 to equip America’s youth with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a technology-concentrated world. The acronym FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” By incorporating hands-on robotic projects with math, science, and engineering principles, we seek to inspire young people to further explore new and developing technologies and develop leadership and communication skills.
Our four program levels include options for children of all grades, from K-12.
Check out the program details and FAQs below.  

FIRST® LEGO LEAGUE JR

For children ages 6-9, this program captures young children’s curiosity and directs it toward discovering the wonders of science and technology. This program features a real-world scientific concept to be explored through research, teamwork, construction, and imagination. Guided by adult Coaches, teams use LEGO® bricks to build a model that moves and develop a Show Me Poster to illustrate their journey. 

FIRST® LEGO LEAGUE

This program introduces students ages 9-14 to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. They are equally judged on their research project and their adherence to the FIRST® Core Values. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society. 

FIRST® TECH CHALLENGE

This program is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. 

FIRST® ROBOTICS COMPETITION

The varsity Sport for the MindTM, this program for grades 9-12 combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.