Welcome to FIRST in Florida!
FIRST® K-12 STEM education programs use robot challenges to build science and technology skills and interests, along with self-confidence, leadership, and life skills . In Florida, FIRST serves nearly 10,000 students statewide. At the high school level, over $16 million in scholarships are available to participating students.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12;FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
Through FIRST academic competition experiences, students ages 6-18 can work “FIRST hand” with scientists, engineers, and technicians who serve as mentors and coaches in a collaborative, professional environment. The real-world experiences and the relationships students form within the science, engineering and technology community richly supplement and deepen learning in meaningful and enduring ways that go far beyond classroom experiences.
FIRST programs are:
- Sequentially progressive, allowing children to enjoy the FIRST experience from early elementary through high school,
- Low cost and affordable, with significant funding availability,
- Standards aligned
- Research based and proven to enhance student achievement and long term success.
FIRST in Florida
In Florida, FIRST got its start in 1995, with FIRST Robotics Competition team SigmaCats, in Miami, which is the state’s oldest FIRST team, and still competing. Today, Florida is home to a growing FIRST program that includes more than 70 high school level FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams throughout the state, as many FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams, over 500 elementary and middle school FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams, and more than 100 Jr. FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) teams, serving thousands of children statewide.
Here you can find news and updates about all four FIRST STEM education programs in Florida:
- Jr. FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL)
- FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) – including the Orlando Regional and the South Florida Regional .
Our FIRST Family of Programs are managed by program specific non-profit organizations, and run by hundreds of volunteers statewide with the common goal of engaging and inspiring K-12 students in science and technology learning through creative, hands-on engineering competitions. Our goal is to get youth excited about science and technology, and to encourage them to pursue related studies and careers.
We are happy to work with individuals, groups and schools to create FIRST opportunities, and to help bring these valuable robotics programs to area schools and community centers. For more information on our suite of programs, please explore this site and usfirst.org. Contact information for our different programs is listed in the menu bar at left, as well as on each program page. We are FIRST, and we hope you will be, too!