FIRST® (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization started in 1989 that aims to motivate young people to be educated and pursue careers in the STEM field while also building character and life skills. One of the ways they do this is through their high school robotics competition that challenges teams of students from grades 9-13 to build a robot that is designed to perform specific tasks depending on the challenge for that year. Ultimately, however, FIRST® is not just about robots. It's about building experience, connections, and a genuine appreciation for learning that will be with each member for the rest of their life.
We have been a part of the FIRST® Robotics Competition for six years, and each one of us has grown, both as people and as a community, in our time here. We are dedicated to education about the STEM field, and we do this through various outreach events at elementary schools. Within our team, we have four major groups—the build division, the programming division, the sponsorship division, and the media division, each of which contributes to the team in equal ways. That way, no matter what talents one may have, all are welcome and have an opportunity to shine where they are needed most.