FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
In 1989, Dean Kamen and Professor Woodie Flowers founded FIRST. In hopes of encouraging an interest in technology and engineering in youth, FIRST sponsors numerous competitions annually. The philosophy behind FIRST is of teamwork and interaction between teams. Teams refer to this mentality as 'gracious professionalism.'
FIRST has two important aspects: gracious professionalism and coopertition. The term gracious professionalism was originally used by Dr. Woodie Flowers. It states that we can do professional work but still be kind to others. Coopertition means that we can have an intense competition but still help each other when presented with a problem.
“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 Robotics Competition (FRC)
Every year, FIRST organizes a competition among high school students where they compete with robots that weigh up to 120 pounds. Robots perform certain field tasks that change yearly. 2015 marks the 24th year of competition. This year, January 3rd, marked kick off. Teams were given a standard set of parts and the details of the task. Six weeks later, they compete in a competition testing all aspects of their robot.