FIRST is a non-profit organization with the goal of generating interest in science and engineering in young people from elementary through high school. The high-school level FIRST Robotics Competition, also known as “FRC”, accomplishes these goals in a special way by enabling the collaboration of professional engineers and business people with high-school aged young people to accomplish robotic game tasks. Not only does FIRST support science, it also hopes to create better people by teaching its creed of gracious professionalism. For instance, although the high school FIRST Robotics Competition is about creating an innovative robot, it also calls for helping other teams as much as possible. All of the FIRST Robotics teams are there for each other, whether they're providing parts and materials, creating custom machined parts for each other, or simply offering advice and suggestions. The FRC competition is based on alliances between teams, not going it alone. FIRST is the brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, who created, among other inventions, the portable dialysis machine and the Segway. With the help of many major corporations - such as BAE, GM, SMALL PARTS and AutoDesk - the FIRST Robotics Competition has flourished into an organization of over 1500 teams and 20,000 students from around the globe, including countries such as Canada, Mexico, England, Brazil, Israel, New Zeeland, and almost every state in the USA. With each recurring year, FIRST has expanded the number of competitions.


To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.


FIRST's mission is 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 Values

Gracious ProfessionalismTM

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term "Gracious ProfessionalismTM."

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.


CoopertitionTM 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.

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