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FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

Here’s your quiz:
Q: How many robots can you fit in an empty competition field?
A: One, then it isn’t empty any more.

OK, now that you’re all warmed up, here’s your second question:
Q: What has 32,600 teams, 350,000 students, 130,000 volunteers,  3,500 major sponsors, $19 million dollars in scholarship opportunities and 28,800 robots?
A: FIRST (but you already knew that!)

FIRST is a non-profit company that provides robot competitions for ages 6 through high school.

What’s amazing is that the people who participate in FIRST robot teams (students, coaches and mentors) work together to solve REALLY HARD technical challenges but feel like they’re at play.

Best of all, students who participate in a FIRST robot team WANT to learn more about technology and science, make some really smart robots and then use them to compete against robots from other teams!

How cool is that!

FLL Competition

For ages 6-9 it’s Junior FIRST Lego League (JFLL).  This program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to create solutions and present them for review.

For ages 9-14 it’s FIRST Lego League (FLL). Introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.

For high school students it’s either --

    FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) 
    FTC is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

    or FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
    is "The varsity Sport for the Mind".  It combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.  It’s as close to "real-world engineering" as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

Don’t miss out -- teams are forming NOW.

To learn more about FIRST activities and teams in your area, contact the ROC right away by email or phone as shown below.

For more information about FIRST visit  Also please  check out NC FIRST Robotics at

If you want to help WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Robotics Opportunities Committee of Western North Carolina 828-484-4444