What is FIRST?
“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.” — FIRST website
Jr. FLL is a program focused on creating interest in science and technology in children ages 6-9. It is designed to tap into children’s natural curiosity and direct it toward new ways to improve the world around them.
FLL introduces students ages 9-14 to realistic engineering challenges through the use of Lego robots to complete tasks having to do with a particular theme in a safe, competitive, yet positive environment. Guided by their own imaginations and adult coaches, these students discover many career possibilities and find positive ways to contribute to their society.
FTC is designed for students ages 12-18 who want to compete head-to-head. Teams of 10 students are given the task of designing, building, and programming a robot to compete in a sport-themed game against other teams. Each member of the team is required to develop a strategy to create what they think is the best way to play the game. Awards are given not only for competition performance, but also for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
FRC, also called “The Varsity Sport of the Mind,” combines the worlds of sports, science, and technology. Students ages 14-18 form teams of 25 or more to raise money, design a team “brand,” develop teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform tasks against a field of competitors.