About FIRST® 

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST, is an international robotics program for elementary school students to high school students. It was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen.

Mission of FIRST 

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 Lego League

For kids in grades 4-8, FLL students learn engineering concepts through real-world engineering challenges to be solved with LEGO® robots. They design, build, test, and program robots using LEGO® Mindstorms technology. Each year, FLL teams focus on creating a LEGO® robot to accomplish the given challenge and prepare a presentation on a topic they've researched that aligns with that year's game.

To learn more about FLL in Washington, please visit FIRSTWa.

photo credit: FIRST


FIRST Tech Challenge

For kids in grades 7-12, FTC teams design, build, and program robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Awards are given at the competition for winning, community outreach, and design, among other things.

Matches are played in a 12 by 12 foot field. The competition includes an autonomous section, where one is not allowed to control the robot, and a teleoperated section, where one is supposed to control their robot through a series of challenges. FTC teams can have up to 10 students and up to 3 mentors per team.

To learn more about FTC in Washington, please visit FIRSTWa.

photo credit: FIRST


FIRST Lego League Junior

For kids in grades K-3, Jr. FLL is very similar to FLL, but for younger kids. Each year, Jr. FLL teams solve challenges with LEGO® robots, create a “Show-Me-Board” display, and have their project reviewed at an exposition.

To learn more about Jr. FLL in Washington, please visit FIRSTWa.

photo credit: FIRST


FIRST Robotics Competition

For kids in grades 9-12, FRC teams are given a task and then have six weeks to build a robot to solve the challenge. Games each year are specially designed to teach students about real-life engineering solutions. After that, FRC teams go on to compete at (a) regional competition(s). Much like FTC, the competition includes autonomous and teleoperated phases.

While build season is only six weeks long, many FRC teams run year-round, participating in community outreach. At competition, teams not only compete to win, but compete to be the best in spirit, community outreach, design, and more.

To learn more about FRC in Washington, please visit FIRSTWa.

photo credit: FIRST