What is FIRST™? (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)

FIRST is a non-profit organization devoted to kindling and advancing the pursuits of science and ingenuity. Founded over 20 years ago by Dean Kamen, FIRST culminates into an international competition where people and teams can gain recognition, meet friends, gain new skill sets, and most importantly learn the meaning of Gracious Professionalism.

FIRST  Programs

FIRST hosts 4 different robotic competitions for all ages.

  1. Jr. FIRST Lego league, Grades K-3, ages 6-9

  2. FIRST Lego League, Grades 4-8, ages 9-16

  3. FIRST Tech Competition, Grades 9-12, ages 14-18

  4. FIRST Robotics Competition, Grades 9-12, ages 14-18

FIRST is an all-inclusive program that allows the development of many skill sets, the creation of many things, and the development of cooperative skills that will last a lifetime. Even after high school Alumni can come back to a team and help as mentors.

FIRST  Vision & Mission

“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

“Our mission 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 creates and supports Gracious Professionalism™ and Coopertition™

FIRST  Values

“Gracious Professionalism™"

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term “Gracious Professionalism™.”

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It”s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.”


Coopertition™ produces innovation. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.

Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.”


FIRST robotics truly is the ”varsity sport for the mind,” and we here at N.R.G. encourage anyone and everyone to take part in this organization's amazing programs.

Kamen, Dean, and FIRST. “Mission, Values, and Vision.” US FIRST. Web. 08 Feb. 2012. <>.

FIRST®, FIRST® Logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC®, are registered trademarks of FIRST® ( which is not overseeing, involved with, or responsible for this activity, product, or service.

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