What is FIRST?

FIRST Robotics is an organization that was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen. The mission of FIRST 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 website). It offers opportunities for scholarships and promotes good sportsmanship and cooperation.

What does FIRST stand for?

  • For
  • Inspiration and
  • Recognition of
  • Science and
  • Technology

What is 'Gracious Professionalism' and 'Coopertition'?

Gracious Professionalism is the FIRST idea that combined the notions of mutual gain and fierce competition in a relationship that benefits both the team and the community. "Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended" in the theory of Gracious Professionalism.

Coopertition is showing kindness and dignity in the face of competition. It involves learning from your team. Teaching your friends. Learning from mentors. Coopertition is truly the essence of what FIRST is all about.

How does FIRST impact students?

When compared with students not involved in FIRST, FIRST students are:

  • More than 3 times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
  • Roughly 10 times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year.
  • Significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree.
  • More than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology.
  • Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
  • More than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.

FIRST really does help students achieve a future beneficial to them!


FIRST® DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE, the 2019 FIRST® Robotics Competition game, Presented By The Boeing Company, we join two competing ALLIANCES collecting sample on Planet Primus. Unpredictable terrain and weather patterns make remote ROBOT operation essential to their mission on the planet. With only 2:30 until liftoff, the ALLIANCES must gather as many CARGO pods as possible and prepare their spaceships before the next SANDSTORM arrives.

  1. T-minus 2:30: A SANDSTORM limits DRIVER visibility so ROBOTs independently follow pre-programmed instructions or are operated by human DRIVERS via video from their stations. Alliances score points by depolying Robots from their Habitat (HAB) and preparing the Rockets and Cargo Ship with Hatch Panels and Cargo Pods.
  2. T-minus 2:15: The sandstorm clears and human operators take control of their robots. Alliances continue to score by preparing the rockets and cargo ship with hatch panels and cargo pods. Alliances will also score by safely returning the robots to their HAB.
  3. T-minus 0:00: When the clock reaches 0:00 the game ends and the alliance with the most points wins.