What is FIRST ?
The FIRST organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur, in order to introduce science and technology for kids in a fun and exciting way. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which it does perfectly. The entire program is mentor-student based, where both sides teach one another about all aspects included in this competition.
So how does FIRST help motivate kids into the world of science and technology? Well, every January the FIRST organization (FRC) releases a new "game" to play, high school students and mentors are then granted six weeks to design, fabricate, and build a functioning robot. After six weeks are finished, the robot is then shipped to a FIRST regional competition where robots then "battle" it out.
During the first few weeks, students and mentors design and prototype various designs in order to produce their best possible robot. Next, team members then "draw" the entire robot in AutoCad/Inventor to pinpoint errors and to get the exact measurements of each piece of the robot. This not only creates the concept view of the robot, but it allows drawings to be made and machined in the following weeks. Parts are created using various machines including Mills, Lathes, band saws, and CNC 4-axis mills (MasterCAM). Once the robot is completed, it must be programmed using C, which includes drive motors, extra motors, sensors, switches, and the 15 second automonous mode. After the robot is programmed, it is then tested to see if anything could be changed and to get drivers used to controlling the robot. As you can see, there are many different learning opportunities on a FRC Robotics team, so what are you waiting for? See if there's a team around you! Here.