FIRST Robotics: "The Ultimate Sport for the Mind"
FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a non-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen. Its goal is to inspire STEM appreciation and leadership in young people. This is accomplished by engaging students from kindergarten to high school in mentor-led robotics programs that foster an interest in both science and technology and leadership.
However, what makes FIRST special compared to other sports is the value in sportsmanship. FIRSTers believe in “Gracious Professionalism,” a term coined by FIRST to describe the attitude of FIRST. Gracious Professionalism is the practice of combining both “fierce competition and mutual gain.” FIRST teams compete to win, but aren’t afraid to help others win too. This belief adds to the integrity of FIRST.
There are four levels of FIRST robotics: FIRST Lego League, Jr., FIRST Lego League, FIRST Technology Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition. CRUSH 1011 participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), and it is the highest of all levels of FIRST. FIRST Robotics Competition is known as “The Ultimate Sport for the Mind.” In this program, under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of high school students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded 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. They then take the robots they created to compete against other teams in tournaments.