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.
FIRST Family of Programs
|Jr.FLL captures young children’s inherent 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 guild a model that moves and develop a Show-Me Poster to illustrate their journey.Children ages 6 to 9 get to:
|In FLL, children are immersed in real-world science and technology challenges. Teams design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous LEGO robots that perform a series of missions. Through their participation, children develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning. Children ages 9 to 16 (9-14 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) get to:
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|FTC is designed for high-schoolers who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12 field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX platform that is reusable from year-to-year 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 community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.High-school students get to:
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|Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind, FRC 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 a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to real world engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.High-school students get to:
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Get Involved with FIRST
Interested in getting involved in FIRST in the Bethesda Area, but not sure where to start or what to do? Email firstname.lastname@example.org