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FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. FIRST's Vision is to positively transform culture by inspiring young people, their schools, and communities to appreciate science and technology. FIRST brings together schools with businesses, and students with professionals as mentors, all with the support of local universities.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience—and a lot of fun. In 2013, the competition reached over 50,960 high-school-aged young people on over 2,548 teams in 58 regional events. FRC teams came from all over the United States and 15 other countries. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines.

Colleges, universities, corporations, businesses, and individuals are providing over $16 million in college scholarships to FRC participants in 2013. Involved engineers experience again many of the reasons they chose engineering as a profession, and the companies they work for contribute to the community while they prepare and create their future workforce. The competition shows students that the technological fields hold many opportunities and that the basic concepts of science, math, engineering, and invention are exciting and interesting.

Winning necessitates cooperation among teams that have never met before. In a competition that has nothing to do with smashing another robot, FRC teams of students and their mentors have six weeks to design and build a robot from a standard kit of parts to compete at FIRST Regional Events under the principles of "gracious professionalism."

The FIRST Tech™ Challenge (FTC) is a mid-level robotics competition principally for students in grades 7-12. It offers the traditional challenge of a FIRST competition but with a more accessible and affordable robotics kit. FTC is designed for those 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 in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed 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 for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

For 9-14 year-olds, there is FIRST LEGO League. The FIRST LEGO League (FLL), considered the "little league" of the FIRST Robotics Competition, is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to children usually aged 9 through 14, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation.  In 2012 the competition reached more than 205,000 students on 20,500 teams worldwide. The teams came from 60 countries and almost every U.S. state.

With the help of LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ Robotics Invention System™ technology, young participants can build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions.

Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) offers an exciting opportunity for younger budding scientists introduce the core concepts of all FIRST programs to inspire, excite, and introduce children to the wonders of science, technology, and engineering. Created in partnership with the LEGO Group, Jr.FLL is geared to children aged 6 to 9 years old and utilizes a modified FIRST LEGO League framework. Teams of up to 6 children and an adult mentor receive a mini challenge, based on the annual FLL research project.  In the 2011 season the competition reached more than 17,910 students on 2,985 teams in the United States and Canada. Using an open-ended LEGO building set, they will design a model depicting an aspect of this year’s FLL Challenge. Children will spend approximately one month exploring, investigating, designing and building a model made with LEGO bricks. In conjunction, teams create a "Show Me" poster that depicts the teams’ experience during this process, through drawings and words.  Teams celebrate and share their experience with other teams, family and friends at local events or at an official Jr.FLL Expo. The celebration includes time to enhance the teams’ current models and show their poster, meet with friendly "Reviewers" to share their experiences, and receive recognition for their efforts.


General Information: info@coloradofirst.org


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