FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." It is a non-profit organization that challenges students and mentors to build a robot within a six week period. Every robot must obey and carry out the rules that FIRST provides in the kick-off event. The teams are each given a kit of parts at the beginning of the competition.

Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989. Kamen came up with FIRST to inspire high school students to be a part of science and technology. This program involves students around the world in learning about more than just robotics; it also encourages leadership, communication, and self-confidence.

"Gracious Professionalism" is an ideal promoted by FIRST. Teams are encouraged to compete intensely, but treat other teams with the respect they deserve and desire. This ideal allows students to take the knowledge they learned from robotics and use it in their future lives. They learn how to compete with integrity and sensitivity. For more information visit FIRST.