What is FIRST? The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to FIRST logosolve 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 obtained in the kit of parts and compete in games designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals. FIRST redefines winning for these students by rewarding teams for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last. Students get to:

  • Learn from professional engineers
  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design
  • Learn and use sophisticated software and hardware
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
  • Earn a place at the FIRST Championship
  • Qualify for over $14 million in college scholarships.

The official FRC season starts with event registration in the fall, proceeds from the Kickoff in early January through the six-week robot design and builds period, and continues to the robot shipment deadline (or Bag and Tag in Michigan) in late February. The Regional/District events occur late February through early April, culminating at the FIRST Championship, which will be held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in late April.

Vision: “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

Mission: “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.” –

The People Behind FIRST

Dean L. Kamen – President and Founder
Dr. Woodie Flowers – FIRST Executive Advisory Board Chairman
Walter P. Havenstein – FIRST Chairman of the Board

Overall Reach of FIRST:
251,000+ students
22,926 teams
20,779 robots
60,000+ mentors/adult supporters
30,000+ event volunteers