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The Mission of FIRST

The 2002 Zone Zeal Playing Field

FIRST is an acronym for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" and was founded 13 years ago by Dean Kamen (He also invented the Segway, as well as the iBOT Independence wheelchair and many other inventions in the medical field). The purpose of FIRST is to educate high school age students about the growing fields of math, science, and technology through a fun and engaging robotics competition. It also provides for a chance for students to meet one-on-one with real industry leaders, engineers, and more through the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), a chance that without FRC would not have been made available. It originally comprised of 28 teams from the New England area, competing in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium. The initial success spurred rapid growth to include 28,000 students, 1,300 teams, 37 Regional Events, and a National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia that show no signs of stopping. In addition to teams in the United States, FRC has also expanded to Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Great Britain, Israel, and more.

High Five!

FIRST teaches the principal of gracious professionalism. Gracious professionalism has purposely been left undefined by FIRST however, it is "the moral values" behind FRC. But basically it teaches students that although they can be opponents on the competition field, they are not enemies, and you treat each other with respect. Examples of this are if one team smokes a drive motor at a competition, you'd be a gracious professional to offer them one of your spare ones; for although you may compete head-to-head next match, respect gets respect. This is not something that is practiced in traditional sports, but is essential to society.

Also, through FRC, more than $8.000,000 dollars worth of scholarships are available, including some 4-year fully paid scholarships to such colleges and universities as WPI (Western Massachusetts Polytechnic Institute) or through organizations such as ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) or Society of Women Engineers. More and more high schools are now offering FRC teams, and many are now being offered as genuine varsity sports teams.

More Information About FIRST

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Team 228 at a Glance

Location: Meriden, Connecticut, USA
Team Size: 25 Students, 10 Mentors
High Schools: Platt, Maloney, Wilcox Tech High Schools in Meriden; Lyman Hall, Sheehan High Schools in Wallingford
Rookie Year: 1999
Team Mantra: Contagious Enthusiasm!