“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, Founder

Students who participate in FIRST competitions are not merely expected to be professional and innovative, but also well-rounded people with life skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities when they are confronted with technical and financial obstacles. Therefore, an experience in a FIRST Robotics team and competition is viewed as valuable by many college scholarship programs. FIRST offers a variety of opportunities: from professional mentorship to scholarships.

In FIRST Steamworks (2017), robots must traverse an arena to successfully assemble gear trains and turn their rotors. Robots deliver gears across the arena to teams in “airships” (towers), where competitors assemble the gears. They can also earn points by scoring “fuel” (plastic balls) into “boilers” (goals).
In FIRST Stronghold (2016), robots must traverse through 4 of the 5 sets of obstacles to successfully breach this line of defense called the Outer Works. Doing so allows teams to further weaken their opposing alliance’s castle by firing boulders (foam balls) into it. After completely diminishing the castle’s strength, teams can scale the castle to earn more points.

In Recycle Rush (2015), robots pick up and stack totes onto platforms, insert pool noodles into recycling bins, and place bins onto the stacks of totes. Robots are designed to possess a highly maneuverable drive base and the ability to pivot around its center. They also have an elevator system, which allows the robot to acquire the maximum number of points during the short timeframe.

In Aerial Assist (2014), robots must assist each other to move 24-inch game balls down the field and into low or high goals to score. The more the robots assist each other, the higher the alliance bonus points will be. Bonus points are also rewarded for throwing the ball over a truss in the center of the field.

In Ultimate Ascent (2013), robots shoot standard Frisbee discs into goals at the far end of the field to score with more points awarded to more difficult goals. At the end of the match, they climb “jungle-gym“ like pyramids to earn bonus points.

In LogoMotion (2011), robots must place inflated game pieces, shaped as elements of the FIRST logo, on large scoring racks to form the logo. Tubes placed higher on the rack and tubes that create the FIRST logo earn more points. Towards the end of the match, robots can deploy minibots along the poles placed on the field, to earn extra bonus points.