FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit, international organization founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur who invented the Segway. Its goal is to inspire and educate young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (also known as STEM) through a mentor-based teaching system.
“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
FIRST® is comprised of multiple robotics programs, all aimed at different age groups. This includes the Junior Lego®League, Lego® League, Tech Challenge, and the flagship FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC), in which Citrus Circuits competes in. Each year, FIRST® releases a new game for each program. This game poses an enormous challenge composed of various tasks, and teams must strategize, design, prototype, build, program, and test their robot during build season, which lasts for six weeks. After build season, teams compete in numerous regional tournaments to qualify for world championships, held annually in St. Louis.
In FIRST® robotics, we value Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®. Gracious Professionalism, a term coined by FIRST® advisor Woodie Flowers, is the backbone of FIRST®, motivating innovation and respect for team members and competitors alike. With Gracious Professionalism, teams compete honorably but still treat one another with mutual kindness. Coopertition adds on to this by encouraging the notion that in the heat of competition, teams can help and learn from each other and other teams.