WHAT IS FIRST?
FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen as a way to encourage students to become involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit that provides the basis for many robotics programs. First offers 5 programs for students ranging from grades PreK-12. First Lego League (FLL) offers 3 sub-programs for students PreK-8, FLL Discovery, FLL Explore, and FLL Challenge. In middle and high school students can compete in First Tech Challenge (FTC) and First Robotics Challenge (FRC). These programs allow students to gain hands-on experience in engineering , working side by side with industry professionals, mentors, and other students, and to learn about teamwork in unique ways. Values like cooperation and Gracious Professionalism (coined by Dr. Woodie Flowers) are extremely important to the program and prove that even during the fiercest competitions, teams are able to compete together and treat each other with respect.
For more information about FIRST, please visit their website at firstinspires.org
FIRST INFINITE RECHARGE is in partnership with Lucasfilm as part of its Star Wars: Force for Change initiative. It centers around a futuristic city theme involving two alliances consisting of three teams each competing to perform various tasks, including shooting foam balls known as Power Cells into high and low goals to activate a Shield Generator, manipulating a Control Panel to activate this shield, and returning to the Shield Generator to park or climb at the end of the match. The objective is to energize and activate the shield before the match ends and asteroids strike FIRST City.
The 2020 season was cancled due to Covid-19, and the games pushed back a year. Infinite recharge took place during the 2021 season.
FIRST DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE presented by the Boeing company centers around an outer space theme involving two alliances consisting of three teams each competing to place poly-carbonate hatch panels and orange rubber balls or “cargo” on rockets and cargo ships before returning to their HAB platform to climb at the end of the match.
FIRST POWER UP finds FIRST Robotics Competition teams trapped in an 8-bit video game. Each three-team alliance has three ways to help defeat the boss: Tipping the scale or the alliance’s switch in their favor to earn points, exchanging power cubes for power ups (force, boost, and levitate) to gain a temporary advantage during the match, and climbing the scale tower to face the boss. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match, which includes autonomous and teleoperated periods, defeats the boss and wins the game.
FIRST STEAMWORKS the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition game, invites two
adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare
their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Each three-team alliance prepares to
take flight in three ways: build steam pressure, start rotors, prepare to take flight.
In FIRST STRONGHOLD, two Alliances of three robots each are on a Quest to breach their opponents’ fortifications, weaken their tower with boulders, and capture the opposing tower. Robots score points by breaching opponents’ defenses and scoring boulders through goals in the opposing tower. During the final 20 seconds of the Quest, robots may surround and scale the opposing tower to capture it.
Recycle Rush is a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season
Aerial Assist is played by two competing alliances of three robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ foot field, straddled by a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a 2-minute and 30-second match. The more Alliances score their ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their Alliance receives.