FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. This not-for-profit public organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while gaining self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST® consists of three programs – FIRST® LEGO League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition. The programs vary by age and challenge so that learning never stops building upon itself. Starting at age 6 and continuing through middle and high-school levels up to age 18, young people can participate at any level. Over 300,000 youth and more than 120,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from over 60 countries participate in FIRST® programs each year.
FIRST® programs in Wisconsin have a large support network that helps to organize and run events throughout our state at all of the program levels including FIRST® LEGO League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition.
The FIRST® LEGO League programs are coordinated by our Affiliate Partner at The Center for Robotics Education out of Madison, Wisconsin.
The FIRST® Tech Challenge program is coordinated by our Program Affiliate Partner at the Milwaukee School of Engineering .
FIRST® Robotics Competition is coordinated by the FIRST® Regional Director in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin and Seven Rivers Regional Planning Committees.