Learn about FIRST®

“To transform our culture by creating a world where
science and technology are celebrated and where
young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”
— Dean Kamen, Founder

What is FRC?

FIRST was founded in 1989. Its innovative programs are designed to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. The FIRST Robotics Program is international in scope, involving over 2,000 teams in almost 60 countries this year. More information is available online here.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®)

The FIRST Robotics Competition is "the varsity Sport for the Mind," which combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It's as close to "real-world engineering" as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

FRC Season

The official FRC season starts with event registration in the fall. It proceeds from the Kickoff in early January through the six-week robot design and build period, and continues to the robot shipment deadline in late February. The Regional events occur late February through early April, culminating at the FIRST Championship, which is being held in St. Louis. In the 2017 season, there are 3,400+ teams and over 85,000 participants.

Gracious Professionalism®

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.


Coopertition® produces innovation. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Coopertition Video