FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to “inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills” (usfirst.org). All levels of FIRST, from local teams to the National offices encourage participants to get out into the communities and spread the word about FIRST, and show them what bright young students can do when they work along side professionals for a common goal.
Jr. FIRST Lego League Jr.FLL Grades K – 3 (ages 6 – 9)
FIRST Lego League FLL Grades 4 – 8 (ages 9 – 14)
FIRST Tech Challenge FTC Grades 9 – 12 (ages 14 – 18)
FIRST Robotics Competition FRC Grades 9 – 12 (ages 14 – 18)
“The FIRST spirit encourages doing high-quality, well-informed work in a manner that leaves everyone feeling valued. Gracious Professionalism seems to be a good descriptor for part of the ethos of FIRST. It is part of what makes FIRST different and wonderful” (Woody Flowers, FIRST National Advisor).
FIRST also directly encourages its teams to build the FIRST community by sponsoring and mentoring new robotics teams at all levels. Compared to their peers, students involved in FIRST are more likely to attend college in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field, pursue advanced degrees, have internships their first year in college, seek careers in STEM and more likely to volunteer in their communities.
What is FLL?
FLL is a child-centered activity and is about giving children a unique and stimulating experience. We want them to learn the value of teamwork and to respect everyone’s ideas and contributions to the team. FLL Core Values are about appreciating our differences and learning what those differences add to our lives. FLL succeeds most fully when team members bring the FLL Core Values they learn back to their communities.
Each September, FLL teams around the world get an annual Challenge. The Challenge is based on a set of real-world problems facing scientists and engineers today. It has two parts: the Robot Game and the Project.
For roughly eight fast-paced weeks, each team is guided by at least one adult coach and works as a group to overcome obstacles and meet challenges while learning from and interacting with their peers and adult mentors. Teams work to find creative solutions to the problems presented to them in the Challenge. They then compete in optional local and regional tournaments where they celebrate their accomplishments with other FLL teams, family, and friends.
After the hard work and a lot of fun, children come away with a greater appreciation of science and technology and how they might use it to positively impact the world around them. In addition, they cultivate life skills such as planning, brainstorming, collaboration and teamwork, as well as research, presentation and technical skills.
How can the Megahurts help you?
Our school works at the FIRST Robotics Competition level and we have had great success in motivating our students to pursue degrees in STEM. We started our team in the winter of 2006 and from day one the kids and adults were hooked. FIRST gave our students an outlet to apply the basic theories and lessons from a classroom to a physical, complex problem. The solutions that we came up with were not always right, nor were they wrong; but rather they were learning experiences that few other education or professional environments could provide.
We would like to help any southern Illinois school (with students in grades K-8) start a FLL team, so that your student can benefit from FIRST the way that our students have. We will provide a portion of the startup cost, as well as technical support through the school year.
NXT Lego Set: $395
Startup Field: $65
Game Table: $60
Entry Fee: (Half-Day Event) ~$50
Parts Storage: $100
Our team will give an initial registration donation of $200 to start your FLL program and work with your team to seek out sponsorship opportunities to offset the other costs. Other options that we can explore are workshops at your school and at our facility, mentor visits to your team to help with the program challenge and the game and anything else that we can do to make your program a success.
FIRST has grown to be an integral component of Brehm Preparatory School and the education of our students. We have students (from the Megahurts) at top engineering schools like Cal Poly Tech and Carnegie Mellon. FIRST is about getting kids excited about science the same way that people are excited about sports, except that it is done in a way that encourages cooperative competition and community service. The FIRST Program would be a great addition to your school’s STEM cirrculum.
Click Here to request more information about sponsorship online OR Download a form to mail inApril 28th, 2010
Topic: Headline News, Robotics News, Team Produced News Tags: None