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What’s FIRST?

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.

FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.

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What is unique about the FRC program?

  • It is a sport where the participants play with the pros and learn from them
  • Designing and building a robot is a fascinating real-world professional experience
  • Competing on stage brings participants as much excitement and adrenaline rush as conventional varsity tournaments
  • The game rules are a surprise every year

 

Getting Involved

We believe that getting involved in FIRST is one of the more important investments that you can make towards a better future for the US and the world. FIRST takes an active leadership role in inspiring and encouraging today’s youth to get involved in math, science, engineering, and technology, and lets face it what would the world be without the advances made in these fields? Almost everything you touch in your everyday life had be influenced by engineering and the sciences. If we want to continue to maintain and improve our quality of life we need to invest in science and engineering education, and FIRST is a great way to do this. Investment can mean money, time, supplies or many other things. Please visit the official FIRST page on getting involved to learn more.

 

Gracious Professionalism

From the FIRST website:

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