About FIRST®

For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

"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

What is FIRST?

FIRST is an Organization that was founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. In 1992, FIRST held its first large scale competition with 28 teams that met in a high school gym to compete. In 1998 LEGO® joined with FIRST and went on to form the FIRST LEGO League® (FLL). Moving into the 21st century, 2004 witnessed the founding of FLL Jr.® as a way to get younger kids ages 6-10 into robotics. In 2005 the FIRST Tech Challenge® or FTC was founded in order to make the FIRST program more accessible. Ever since then, FIRST has done a wonderful job of providing ways for students to gain experience in engineering, design, and other interests.


According to FIRST, “Coopertition means displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the philosophy that teams “can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.” Teams typically donate materials and expertise to novice teams and anyone else that needs help at competition, regardless of their own standing.

Gracious Professionalism® 

According to FIRST,  “With Gracious Professionalism, intense competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete fiercely, but treat one another with respect and kindness during 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."