FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national program that combines the rigors of science with the excitement of sports to engage students in STEM. The after-school robotics-based programs reach youth ages 6 to 18, starting with FIRST LEGO League Jr. and building to the high-school level FIRST Robotics Competition.
KC STEM Alliance manages, staffs and covers all costs associated with Greater Kansas City Regional FIRST events and competitions. By working with area businesses, schools, universities, professional organizations and countless dedicated volunteers, Kansas City’s FIRST community is working toward the day when every student in the metro area has the opportunity to participate in the full progression of FIRST programs from kindergarten through high school graduation.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. (Grades K-4)
Teams design and construct a model with motorized parts using LEGO elements and present their research journey on a Show Me poster.
FIRST LEGO League (Grades 4-8)
Teams build LEGO-based robots and develop research projects based on a real-world challenge that changes annually.
FIRST Tech Challenge (Grades 7-12)
Students learn to think like engineers. Teams build robots from a reusable kit of parts, develop strategies, document their progress and compete head to head.
FIRST Robotics Competition (Grades 9-12)
Teams compete with 120-pound robots of their own design in this varsity “Sport for the Mind.” Working alongside professional engineers, students learn and use sophisticated hardware and software and develop skills in design, project management, teamwork, strategic thinking and more.
More than Robots
Although much excitement centers on the competition, FIRST is about much more than robots. This video from the Greater Kansas City Regional FIRST Robotics Competition 2016 Chairman’s Award Winner, Liberty’s Team 1764, showcases the collaboration, outreach and teamwork involved:
FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and tireless advocate for science and technology. His determination to help young people discover the rewards of STEM education and careers is the cornerstone of FIRST.
Learn more about FIRST in Kansas City at www.kcfirst.org.