FIRST is an amazing orginization that helped me get my start in IT. Without FIRST I would not be anywhere close to where I am in my my career today.
FIRST Robotics builds better humans. Their relentless pursuit to educate, cultivate, and in inspire young people to not only build robots but, solve problems, collaborate and chase excellence while embodying professional graciousness and respect is spurring society upward. My children participate in FIRST on a team housed in Kettering University's FIRST Robotics community center in Flint Michigan (FRC #5774). The cross pollination of ideas in the center (typical of Makerspaces and the University ecosystem) coupled with the diversity experienced on our Flint based team have shaped my children's worldview, expanded their skill set, and prepared them for a lifetime of STEM based pursuits. I encourage anyone to explore FIRST offerings and look for ways to get involved in this truly unique and life-changing organization. -Sarah Hodsdon
I can truly say that FIRST has had a humongous impact on my life. I'm going into my junior year of high school and 4th year on a FTC team but has been around FTC competitions and volunteering for the past 6 years. Through FIRST, I have learned so many skills. Many of which have nothing to do with the technical aspects of the program. Through FIRST, I have had the most amazing experiences and met the most amazing people. There's nowhere else than a FIRST event that everyone is accepted. The nerdier you are, the cooler you are. The relationships and experiences you have through FIRST will stay with you for a lifetime. And aside from meeting new people at competitions and events, you meet new people on your team. I didn't even know the name of some of the people on my team before joining robotics and now they're my family. My team is all my closest friends. There's nobody else that I'd rather share all the cool experiences of FIRST with.
What can I not say about FIRST. I have three kids and for the past 3 years they have all been involved with FIRST, and my oldest two 4 years before that. I have been very privileged to see my kids grown from JrFLL, to FLL, and now both of my oldest are FTC. Past two years I have even stepped away from just being a parent and coach JrFLL, and this year I am branching out more and coaching two JrFLL teams. My oldest two are so inspired not only do they compete but they also mentor younger teams. I recommend this program to anyone and everyone. Kids learn important skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
This is an organization that introduces girls and boys of all socioeconomic levels, races, ethnicities and religions and brings them together to compete in robotics: that is, it's competitive engineering for all kids. It's the only high school sport (that I know of) where 100% of the kids can go pro! More schools' budgets needs to go into FIRST!
FIRST, specifically the FIRST LEGO League, is the best program I have ever found for kids. I homeschool my kids and it is a perfect fit. The educational opportunities through FIRST are unlimited, both academically and in real life ways that have led to incredible character building. Problem solving in woven throughout the entire program - from their project to the robot to learning to work with the team, and we have visibly seen a difference in our kids from our first year (4 years ago) to the present. I cannot express how appreciative I have been for this program.
As for my own son, FIRST has given him a place to express his creativity and his extreme drive for learning. It has given him a community and a place to 'fit'. If you were to ask him who his heroes are, he would tell you that those he looks up to are his peers; it is the kids on other teams that have left such a deep impression on him throughout the years. He follows other FLL teams, like some kids follow sports, and they have inspired and driven him to create more and think deeper. There are not words to adequately describe this programs impact on his life and his development. I wish there were. I could never say Thank You enough.
A very cool program that gets kids learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) under the guise of building robots, friendly competition, and gracious professionalism.
This program is changing the culture of our world for the better. Pairing students with professional mentors to work side by side to achieve a goal with too little resources and time is astonishing.
Many people think that FIRST is just about engineering and robots but as someone who went into digital marketing I can tell you that what FIRST is: FIRST is an opportunity to be inspired. It is the platform that is provided that can launch your life by not just teaching the technical skill, but the soft skills required to be prosperous. Coming into FIRST when I was in high school I was deathly afraid of public speaking. Now I embrace it though hosting events, my own podcast, and articulating myself to be the influential person in the room.
I now give back as a mentor in my own FIRST program to hopefully inspire the next generation as I was before. Thank you FIRST.
FIRST is amazing! I'm in FRC, and have learned so much (both technical knowledge and general life skills) from the hands-on experience it provides.
FIRST is all around great! Their progression of programs FLL Jr. > FRC and everything in between is a great learning mechanism.
US FIRST IS A Wonderful STEM program that allowed my son to make new friends, learn life skills, teach younger kids, educated him in computer and mechinal engineering. FIRST made his high school career extremely successful, helping him grow from a shy child into a team leader. Being part of a championship team won him college scholarships to a prestigious engineering university. He is on track to be an extraordinary adult.
FIRST Robotics is one of the best educational experiences available right now. You build robots that play sports against other schools. It combines the learning of Robotics with the intangibles and excitement of sports. Strong students learn very high level skills to become real high flyers in life. Weaker students gain inspiration, excitement and motivation towards learning dreaded subjects like science, technology, engineering and math. I've seen at risk students choose to stay in school and build successful careers because of Robotics. I've seen smart kids learn the work ethic and confidence needed to launch start-ups and have them purchased by Google. I've even seen it save an entire school by providing a marquee program that the entire community rallied around, causing enrollments double. It is a life changing program for everyone who gets involved. We just need to keep spreading the word about this amazing program, because every student should have access to it.
As a current member of the FIRST group, I can say that I am 100% proud to be a current 2nd year participant. Going through the FIRST Stronghold gave me a huge boost in my understanding of engineering, a greater sense of teamwork, and gave me a chance to make more friends and meet new people. It is very exciting to go to each competition and see how well the project you worked on does.
Incredible program for kids and youth! I have volunteered as a Judge and as a coach. Very well planned and organized.
Being on an FRC team has changed my life forever. I've made life long friends and I've gained extremely valuable skills, not only a future engineering career, but for the rest of my life.
FIRST has changed my life, and Helps me strive for excellence in everything from robot building, to real life skills.
I participated in FIRST programs throughout school, and am now a mentor for an FRC team. I had and continue to have a lot of fun, and I learned a lot of really valuable things. The main overarching concept I learned was what working as an engineer (of any kind) means. School (even college to a large extent) really doesn't involve much engineering. To me, this means solving open-ended problems with complex constraints as a team. I enjoy doing this, and FIRST helped me see how a job in engineering is a good fit for me. As a volunteer mentor, I enjoy working with high school students to help them discover what this means too. I think actual experience is by far the best way to decide whether you want to study engineering in college and beyond, and have some idea which area you want to learn more about.
Unlike school, FIRST's programs help participants learn "why" (why are we doing this? why aren't we doing that? why are we doing this now? why are we doing it this way? why is that important?). If you want to really understand something, that's the most important thing to know, and FIRST is good at designing programs which encourage students to figure that out, both on their own and with help from experienced adults.
Incredible! I've been hooked ever since I first heard of it. When I grew out of competing I started mentoring because I truly believe in their vision and I want to do my part to see this program reach as many people as possible
Both of my sons participated in FIRST Robotics and it truly was a transformative experience. They had hands-on opportunities to explore and build, and to compete in the most positive way. What's really special about FIRST, though, is the outreach to kids who would not otherwise have a chance to build a robot or be on a team or travel to a competition. FIRST opens their eyes to the possibility of a career in STEM, and the experience of being on a team builds skills and confidence that make such a career possible. I now volunteer for FIRST so I can give back and make it possible for other people's children to have this same opportunity.
FIRST is life changing and a great learning experience for students and mentors. Opens doors you never even thought were an option.
fIRST is a great mentoring and learning opportunity. Highly recommend it for students and anyone else who want to learn technical or human interaction skills...
FIRST is much more than robots. It is a life changing experience for students as well as adult volunteers, coaches, and mentors. FIRST programs offer something for every grade, K-12 and not necessary all related to science or technology. It is important to FIRST for the students to become well-rounded individuals in whatever they do.
FIRST changed my life. I was a quiet, shy girl in class... until I joined my robotics team in high school. Then, I led the revolution of STEM in the lives of my peers and community around me. FIRST has become such a passion of mine that I volunteer regularly, and help organize the volunteers in the state of Washington. I can't recommend these programs enough, for students, parents, teachers, members of industry who can mentor young minds, and anyone with the time and ability to volunteer! I have loved the nearly 10 years I have been involved with this organization.
Amazing activities and programs, Completely changed my life as a FIRST LEGO League alum and a FIRST Robotics Competition team member.
I've constantly been amazed with the amount of fun I've had and the amount of education and experience I've gained through this program.
This nonprofit's programs help to fill the gap of global technology education and prepares student for real-life work experiences. It really is a program that gives students the opportunity to go pro in a wide range of careers.
Helped mentor an First Tech Challenge team 5942 and a FIRST Lego League team 1323.
The group has the best programs for all ages, no way to recommend enough
The challenges are exceptional as teams help each other succeed, nothing like other competitions, everyone shares their ideas
All aspects are wonderful
FIRST Robotics has forever changed my life. I have found my passion. I have never found somewhere I have been this happy. It is by far one of the most phenomenal experience any person can have, no matter how old!
My son's high school just started a FIRST team last school year and the experience he had as a part of the FIRST Robotics season was amazing. We have always known he was an engineer at heart, but this program helped him see it and embrace it for the first time in his life. He is a shy kid, but as the team's driver and captain, he had to overcome his shyness and seek out other teams and collaborate with them in their alliances. Being a part of the FIRST program really opened up something meaningful inside of him.
This organization is providing experiences and opportunities that our kids and society desperately need. It gives tech-minded kids a place to learn, collaborate, compete, and have fun. More importantly, it encourages the kind of character development that will make our world a better place. I appreciate that they make all of their events free to the public when so many other extracurricular organizations are using performances and competitions as money-making opportunities. Thank you, FIRST!
FIRST and their programs provide students valuable training in technical, leadership,
and problem-solving skills. These tools will help them succeed as the next generation of
inventors that will drive the future.
Mentoring, sponsored and working with this organization is such a joy, I'll never stop doing it.
FIRST is second to none in providing a full experiential learning experience for students who want pursue careers in technical and business areas. They solve real problems under real deadlines as a team. It's not just about building a robot and being successful at competition, but they have to raise money, do community outreach and become all-around ambassadors for the program in their school and community. This program builds character as well as knowledge, something that few other programs can do.
First is amazing best experience of my life. FLL, FTC, and FRC. It is awesome everyone should do first.
Mentoring FIRST FTC teams inspired my teaching (I teach Computer Science) and invited me into the world of mechanical engineering. I saw my students learn lifelong lessons through interacting with each other, the students they competed with and the many wonderful volunteers who work in the FTC program. If an opportunity like this had been available when I was in high school it would likely have encouraged me (a female) to pursure engineering. I discovered that I LOVE building things!
First Robotics helps introduce engineering and robotics to kids and teens in a fun and competitive way, but also in a way that lets them explore the world of science, tech, marketing and engineering. First makes these fields accessible to kids who might never have thought of or pursued engineering and science. And First is a great entry for girls into STEM. And First stresses good sportsmanship and comraderie at the competition, and helps build an engaged and supportive community.
I have been so impressed with the students with whom I've interacted! Some of them joined half-heartedly and are now pursuing engineering degrees in college or have gone on to work for NASA and high-tech firms. Others were looking for a way to connect in high school and are now enthusiastic leaders of a team where they are pursuing a new-found passion. It's really wonderful to see the genuine enthusiasm and commitment these students express during the competitions and how that carries over into their school environment!
What a wonderful way for our young population to compete. This program progresses through all grade levels and ages involving its participates in competitions that inspire using STEM and creative disciplines to succeed. Building robots out of LEGO technologies for the younger kids and complicated hardware software components for the older kids. It is extremely close to real-world problem solving through engineering. What a way to build the leaders in the next generations!
As a seventh grader my older brother joined the local first team and I went to competitions with my parents I was hooked. Then when I entered 9th grade the teacher coach told me I had to join so I did. Then I was on the team for four years. Also I was on an ftc team where I was their first female captain and mainly built the bot by myself. During my senior year I helped our town start up FLL teams. After high school I became a junior mentor. I also started a JR FLL team with a teacher that I met through FRC since her daughters went through the program also. Now I am a two year old teacher and a mentor for the ftc team.
Going to regional competitions, once as an advisor and once as the parent of a middle schooler, I've been impressed with the enthusiasm of the student participants. The kids really get into the program. They want to do well, for themselves, for their teams and their schools. The kids and the mentors put in additional hours, even beyond their commitments, because they're excited by the challenge. The children show a level of engagement equal to what I've seen in school sports. They're learning how to work together and how to solve problems -- which is something students don't always get in classroom subjects. The commitment I've seen from mentors is equally impressive. As an advisor, I've heard amazing stories about how participation in FIRST has helped children, and has motivated them to major in STEM disciplines in college -- including some students who had never thought they could attend college. I'm very proud my son participated in the FIRST program!
FIRST is one of the most influential forces shaping my life. As a high school student, a small spark of interest in engineering and technology was fanned into a passion and a career by the intense fun and practical learning provided by FRC.
As a professional engineer now mentoring multiple levels of FIRST programs, I see - on a daily basis - the impact a competitive environment and a supportive community of passionate volunteers can have on students from a vast multitude of backgrounds.
This program gave me an amazing start and continues to do so year after year for thousands of bright young minds across the country and even the world.
Dean Kamen's vision of changing the culture and elevating careers science and technology to a level of admiration only given to entertainers and athletes is a noble one. And the organization he founded has executed against that vision year after year, only growing bigger and louder with each season.
Too many of the top teams that students look up to only care about having an "perfect image" and don't actually care about the students, mentors or any other members of FIRST. These people alone have made my experience with FIRST absolutely horrible.
I know of no other organization that does supports education and kids in such a fun way as FIRST. I first got involved as a parent, and when I saw how much fun FRC is for the kids and the mentors, I knew I had to be involved. I am not a techie and wasn't sure how I could be a part, but found my niche in helping with fundraising and providing meals for the kids on long work days. As an employee for a grade school, I suggested (ok, I begged) to the principal that we add FLL as an elective for middle school. I was shocked when she asked me to teach the class! I found that even I, a non-techie mom could coach an FLL team- and I love it!
My younger daughter has since stepped into the FIRST world as a scout on her FRC team and it has really become a family "thing." I have watched as both of my daughters have gained confidence, experience, and a purpose that they would not have found anywhere else. FIRST has empowered them and given them am amazing "resume" for their high school years. I have heard it said many times that "there is no exit strategy for FIRST" and I'm sure I will still be a part of the team even after my girls both graduate.
When I meet parents of new high school students, I always encourage them to have their kids try out FIRST. Many kids who would be lost in other programs and sports find their home there.
When I began in first. I was in 5th grade. Seeing the programming and building in First Lego League was amazing. How can a 11 year old build a robot? A better question is, why don't people understand how amazing FIRST is! There is no other program where kids as young as 6 can start working with robots. I'm on 1 of 3 Girlscout FRC teams. I makes me so sad when I see the amount of girls interested in robotics. I would just like to tell all girls who are passionate about robotics to tell all other girls, if they want to be in robotics, do it!
When I first joined the robotics team when I was a freshman, I didn't know what I was getting into. Over the years of growing up with FIRST Robotics, I learned how to design, how to write, and how to communicate. FIRST robotics touches every person who participates and it teaches them to lead the future. Much of the recent progress happening in today's society can be traced back, in some way, to FIRST.
I've been in FIRST for six seasons now, entering my seventh (third FTC). FIRST has greatly influenced and improved my life, by teaching me a slew of skills, from engineering processes to coding to business aspects. As well, I have met a lot of great friends through it. FIRST is awesome!
I was a teammate from 2013-2015 for two seasons,and this influenced me a lot. It even solids my decision to study aboard to see more. Also I am going to become a mentor for FTC and FRC teams this year.
I've been an adult volunteer for multiple years each in scouting, youth sports, and several STEM extracurriculars. They all serve their communities well, but FIRST stands out for developing a combination of technical and non-technical skills together with positive, inclusive core values that prepares students for workplace and college success.
The FIRST organization is well-managed at headquarters by pros who do an incredible job managing a huge staff of passionate volunteers. Dollar for dollar, FIRST provides an incomparable return on investment with documented results.
I became involved with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 2007 when my kids joined our local robotics teams (one in FRC - high school, and one in FLL - intermediate school). This is a world-wide program that encourages students to learn about and become inspired by science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on activities and competitions which are free and open to the public. As an engineer myself I was drawn to help the team and mentor the students in areas from programming to writing award submission essays to working on their presentation skills in front of groups of adults as well as other students. I cannot say enough about the positive skills that my kids learned from their experience on our Robotics teams. They are now in college, one majoring in Computer Science & Engineering and the other majoring in Elementary Education with a collaborative second major in Math and Computer Science. They learned to work as part of a team; they learned math and engineering skills. They learned confidence; they learned respect. They were both honored to be team captains in their senior year; they learned leadership. FIRST is a life long experience that will be with them for the rest of their life. As for me and my husband (yes, we got the whole family involved), we are still mentoring the team even 3 years after our kids have graduated from high school. I too learn something new about engineering, or working with young people, or about myself every year. Our kids also come back and work with the new members of their team when they are on break from college. If you have an opportunity to become involved with a FIRST team, do not hesitate. You will never regret it. It is the hardest fun you will ever have... and the rewards far exceed the cost.
I became involved with FRC as an advisor three years ago. At first, the program seemed daunting as there were no blueprints or designs other than a rule book to follow. This was very frustrating to myself and the students that were involved.
With that being said, FRC has been the best program for both myself and my students to grow in learning how to reason, design for the challenge, utilize resources, collaborate with others, and in general compete with the resources we have at hand. For us, it has brought together multiple groups of students together who would otherwise not cross each others paths. Students who are mathematically and computer science gifted are natually drawn to this program, as are students who excell in fabrication and construction. All talents are required and necessary to make this project successful.
This upcoming season, our FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team is celebrating ten years. We started in 2005with help from other FIRST teams and folks from NASA. We live in Garrett County - a very rural county in the State of Maryland, about an hour or so south of Pittsburgh. The impact of our team is beyond measure - affecting not only our students members but our County as a whole. All of our student members go on to college with at least 95% pursuing STEM careers - many receiving scholarships and entrance to their preferred school as a result of their FIRST experience in high school. In addition to affecting our student members, our team has grown to be the leader for community and school-based STEM education in Garrett County - sponsoring everything from summer tech camps for elementary school students to pumpkin chucking events in conjunction with local fall festivals. It's been wonderful for our team to have competed at the Pittsburgh Regional giving those who live in Garrett County and support our team a greater chance to travel to see a FIRST (FRC) competition.
I was introduced to FIRST through my son. Coming from a background of electromechanical industrial controls, I naturally took to the organization. The students and mentors involved are the best people to inspire young minds of today. The FIRST organization provides a venue for the team and personnel talents. The yearly challenge and strict rules allows the wildest designs to come to life and solve very difficult problem. Everyone, no mater the skill level can have a huge part of a team. The best part of FIRST is that an entire school can be a part of the project. No matter the interest every student can play a role in a FIRST team. The draw for me as a volunteer is the total package. But helping students explore science and problem solving techniques has been very rewarding and always leaves me cheering on the teams.
FIRST is a program that gets high school students more educated in robotics and engineering. It is much better than a normal classroom setting, where you follow a set of instructions to complete your robot and learn the VERY basics of programming. FIRST is definately trial and error based, where students are encouraged to think outside the box or normality, and come of with great ideas. One of the best parts about FIRST is how the games are as fun and exciting as a tradtional sporting event; even the atmosphere is similar to going to baseball/football game. I have been involved in FIRST for only two years, and I have already gotten these messages I am explaining and many more. If it were not for FIRST I would certainly not be as knowledgible in robotics, and not considering going to college at CMU or MIT, definately one of the most prestieged science/technology colleges in the world. I would personally like to thank FIRST for intoducing me into a new field I may not have been interested in otherwise.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that gets kids excited about engineering, science, and technology. Excited doesn't really quite cover it. Students participating in FIRST events are more enthusiastic about conquering engineering challenges than any Pittsburgh sport fan. Every time I go to the competitions I am amazed by the excitement and energy of these kids.
I am a mentor with a FIRST Robotics team at a local high school. (There are other FIRST organizations for junior high and elementary school ages, too.) Each year FIRST Robotics introduces a new engineering design challenges in the form of a game. All the teams have six weeks to build a robot to play this game. At the end of the six weeks we ship the robot and don't see it again until competition. I work as an engineer and having a deliverable in only six weeks is an amazing feat.
One of the things that impresses me most about FIRST is the concept of “gracious professionalism”. The teams are very focused on winning the game, but they are even more tightly focused on helping everyone have a good competition. It is not uncommon for a team to show up at competition missing a key component (such as a working program for their robot) and by the end of the day other teams will have helped them get the machine up and running. The culture of gracious professionalism is, I think, my favorite thing about FIRST. We are helping train young people to go in to the world and be fierce, focused, competitive, but NOT jerks!
Im a highschool student in ftc that has only been a part of FIRST for two years but ever since I started I have loved it. It has taught me more about electrical systems 3d modeling, and mechanical designs along with the importance of gracious professionalism and teamwork. FIRST has given me the opprotunity to explore the world of engineering in a way i had never thought of before
I have worked with FIRST as a volunteer at a regional competition and I am in my second year as a mentor to a high school that has both FTC and FRC teams. FIRST is a great way to address the STEM needs in our schools. The kids on these teams are the best. One of the most important things they learn from FIRST is gracious professionalism. Former FIRST graduates in our school have gone on to study various types of engineering, computer software, even biomedical engineering. The regional competitions are a lot of fun for the kids. I really enjoy working with these young people.
We began our invlovement with FIRST last year. Our students were very excited about the prospects of building a robot, even though, we had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, we had three veteren teams in our area that pitched in to help us get started and before we knew it, the build season was upon us. It was the longest/shortest 6 weeks of my life! Long hours, everyday, but the weeks flew by as we prepared for the Pittsburgh Regional. As the day finaly arrived, our students were excited beyod containment. The event organizers in Pittsburgh prepared for and ran a flawless competition and our student's were fortunate enough to win the Outstanding Rookie Award as well as qualifying as the top seeded rookie team.
What an experience for our student's! Many of them were able to solidify their career choices as engineers and computer programmers after the experience provided by FIRST and the organizers in Pittsburgh. My thanks to all involved in making this experience a great one for all of my students and the great number of students from all of the other schools represented. I can't wait to go again this coming year. Our students are getting excited as they begin making preparatiions for another build season.
I have been working with a FISRT team for 10 years. We get young 9th graders who know very little about robotics, design, building, tools, etc. When they graduate as 12th graders, they have a huge head start on their college peers.
I have had seen several students win full 4-year scholarships to college based upon their FIRST experience. There are dozens of colleges offering FIRST scholarship.
FIRST changes lives! These children are our technological future.
To learn more, visit their website at FIRST dot org. Also, do a youtube search and see some fantastic videos.
Review from The Pittsburgh Foundation
I started volunteering with FIRST in 2008 as an assistant coach. I became a head FRC coach in 2010 and started an FTC team in 2011. The impact FIRST has had on our students is immeasurable. I have watched the kids grow from wide-eyed freshmen to true leaders and professionals. Time spent with FIRST is very well spent, and I plan to continue serving FIRST as long as I can. Personally, I have changed since starting with FIRST. I find myself regularly doing community service now, and I like it! FIRST is an amazing experience for the students, coaches, mentors, and sponsors!