FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, this not-for-profit public organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while gaining self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. FIRST® K-12 STEM education programs use robot challenges to build science and technology skills and interests,in a character driven program that also inspires self-confidence, leadership, and life skills . In Florida, FIRST serves over 10,000 students statewide. At the high school level, over $50 million in scholarships are available to participating students.
FIRST’s Progression of Programs consists of four programs – FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League , FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition . The programs vary by age and challenge so that learning is always building upon itself. Starting at age 6 and continuing through middle and high-school levels up to age 18, young people can participate at any level.
FIRST is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We embrace and encourage differences in race,color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, income or any other characteristics that make our program participants unique.
State & Local Contacts
Visit FIRST in Florida to learn more about FIRST programs statewide. In the Tampa Bay area, contact West Florida Robotics for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. support and ROBOT League of Tampa Bay for FIRST Tech Challenge support. For FIRST Robotics Competition questions, please email FRCTeams@FIRSTInspires.org .