“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 of FIRST
FIRST has a variety of programs that aim to teach different age groups STEM skills. Each year FIRST releases a challenge based on a real world problem, and students work to meet that challenge. While students have the chance to be involved in a FIRST program from a young age, no experience is required to join any FIRST programs. Read more below to learn about the different programs.
FIRST Lego League
FIRST Lego League, or FLL, has 3 different levels, and is aimed at students in PreK – 8th grade. In FLL Discover, students are taught the basics of STEM and learn to work together to build Lego models demonstrating how they have solved the challenge. FLL Explore students progress further and use their background knowledge in STEM to design and build a Lego robot. Finally, in the FLL Challenge, students will build a Lego robot and compete in a robotics game with their robot.
FIRST Tech Challenge
The FIRST Tech Challenge, or FTC, is aimed at students grades 7 – 12. During the FTC build season, students will design, build, and program a robot to compete in the year’s challenge. While these robots are smaller in size than those used in the FRC competitions, students still learn to think like engineers while building a completely functioning robot.
FIRST Robotics Challenge
The FIRST Robotics Challenge, or FRC, is aimed at students grades 9 – 12. During the FRC build season, students will get 6 weeks to design and build a robot that will compete with and against other area teams. Students are also given the opportunity to practice presentation and interview skills while demonstrating what our team is capable of to other students, judges, and spectators.