The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people's interests and participation in technology and science. Through the help of mentors and teamwork, students build science, engineering and technology skills, and build self-confidence and leadership.
FIRST organizes several robotics competitions for students. These competitions are:
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
- Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr.FLL)
- FIRST Lego League (FLL)
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
About the FIRST Robotics Competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition operated by FIRST, an international youth organization created to inspire young people's interest in science and technology.
Each year, FIRST robotics teams build robots that will compete in competitions. The game changes every year to keep the excitement fresh. The game details are announced at the beginning of January and teams have 6 weeks to build a robot.
Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™(FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It's as close to "real world" engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.
Students get to:
- Work alongside professional engineers.
- Build and compete with a robot of their own design.
- Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software.
- Develop design, project management, programming, teamwork, and strategic thinking skills.
- Earn a place in the Championship.
- Qualify for over $16 million in college scholarships.
FIRST Power UpThe 2018 FRC game
"FIRST® POWER UP℠ [...] includes two alliances of video game characters and their human operators who are trapped in an arcade game. Both alliances are working to defeat the boss in order to escape! Each three-team alliance prepares to defeat the boss in three ways:
- FRC 2018 Game Manual
- Control the Switches and the Scale. Robots collect Power Cubes and place them on Plates to control Switches or the Scale. When the Scale or their Switch is tipped in their favor, it is considered owned by that Alliance. Alliances work to have Ownership for as much time as possible.
- Earn Power Ups. Robots deliver Power Cubes to their humans who then place them into the Vault earning the Alliance Power Ups. Alliances use Power Ups to gain a temporary advantage during the Match. There are three Power Ups available to teams: Force, Boost, and Levitate.
- Force gives the alliance ownership of the Switch, Scale, or both for a limited period of time
- Boost doubles the rate points are earned for a limited period of time
- Levitate gives a robot a free climb
- Climb the Scale. Robots Climb the Scale in order to be ready to Face The Boss"
FIRST SteamworksThe 2017 FRC game
"FIRST® STEAMWORKS℠ [...] invites two adventurers’ clubs, in an era where steam power reigns, to prepare their airships for a long distance race. Each three-team alliance prepares in three ways:
- FRC 2017 Game Manual
- Build steam pressure. Robots collect fuel (balls) and score it in their boiler via high and low efficiency goals. Boilers turn fuel into steam pressure which is stored in the steam tank on their airship – but it takes more fuel in the low efficiency goal to build steam than the high efficiency goal.
- Start rotors. Robots deliver gears to pilots on their airship for installation. Once the gear train is complete, they turn the crank to start the rotor.
- Prepare for flight. Robots must latch on to their airship before launch (the end of the match) by ascending their ropes to signal that they’re ready for takeoff."
FIRST StrongholdThe 2016 FRC game
"FIRST® STRONGHOLD℠ is played by two alliances of three teams each. Alliances compete against each other to breach their opponents’ defenses, known as outer works, and capture their tower. They score points by crossing elements of their opponents’ outer works, scoring boulders in their opponents’ tower goals, and surrounding and scaling their opponents’ tower itself."- FRC 2016 Game Manual
Recycle RushThe 2015 FRC game
"Recycle Rush is a recycling-themed game [...] played by two Alliances of three Teams each. Alliances compete simultaneously to score points by stacking Totes on Scoring Platforms, capping those stacks with Recycling Containers, and properly disposing of Litter, represented by pool noodles, in designated locations."- FRC 2015 Game Manual
Aerial AssistThe 2014 FRC game
Aerial Assist is played by two competing Alliances of three robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ foot field, straddled by a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a two (2)-minute and 30-second match. The more Alliances score their ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their Alliance receives.- USFIRST