What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. He set up the organization with the vision “to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.” 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.
– Dean Kamen
Plasma Robotics is very committed to both promoting STEM and fostering learning. To that end, Plasma Robotics uses robotics as a tool to fulfill the FIRST mission; to raise the awareness of science, engineering, and technology in the community; and to have fun doing it.
FIRST sponsors robotics events in four different divisions, based on age and system complexity. The four program divisions include:
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for Grades 9-12
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for Grades 9-12
- FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for Grades 4-8
- Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for Grades K-3
In 1992 FIRST created FRC to engage high school students in an entertaining science competition. The first FRC competition, Maize Craze, was revealed. Since then there have been many different FRC challenges.
In 1998 FIRST created FLL to create a similar challenge for elementary school students. Just as in the other levels of FIRST competitions, there have been different and interesting challenges for students to tackle.
In 2006 FIRST created FTC to engage students who might be more than a little intimidated by what is involved in FRC. The first FTC challenge, Hangin-a-Round, was revealed. Every year since FTC has continued to grow and challenge students to solve interesting and complex problems in a fun way.
Plasma Robotics has both an FRC and and FTC team. Plasma also hosts an FLL Tournament every year.
What is STEM?
STEM is an abbreviation, commonly used by educators, students, and FIRST robotics proponents. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
FIRST’s main goal revolves around STEM. FIRST seeks to create more educated workers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Plasma Robotics seeks to encourage students of all ages to learn and to consider all the possibilities the future holds for them with the right education and preparation.