“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, FIRST Founder
FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire students in engineering and technology fields. It initially began with 28 teams and one regional competition; today, it has grown to 2075 teams in over seven countries. FIRST has expanded beyond FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) to create FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL), Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL), and FIRST Place.
In addition to inspiring innovation and building leadership, FIRST teaches students the importance of collaboration and “gracious professionalism,” a term coined by Woodie Flowers. In gracious professionalism, competition and mutual gain exist side by side. This philosophy of FIRST encourages work of the highest caliber, places emphasis on the values of others, and respects others and the community.