Posted by donner On December 22, 2010 Comments Off on FIRST

FIRST is an acronym for "For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology". FIRST's mission is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”– ( )

FIRST robotics teams are separated by age groups. The Junior FIRST LEGO League is for students age 6 to 9. Student's age 9 to 14 compete in the FIRST LEGO League. High School students can compete in either of two leagues set up for students age 14 to 18. FIRST Tech Challenge students compete in teams no bigger than 10 students, while FRC teams can have larger numbers. Our team is in the FRC, or FIRST Robotics Competition League. FIRST robotics partners with NASA, whose scientists designs a new competition challenge every year.

In 1992, FIRST started with only 28 teams in a high school gym.It grew fast.  Last year 1,808 high school teams competed with roughly 45,000 students from Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. In 2011, FIRST celebrated it's 20th year, and there were 2,075 teams competing that year of which, 92% are returning teams.

In Minnesota the number of FIRST teams has grown exponentially in the past five years. We are the only state with a double regional which happens on the same weekend, and the two arenas are just a stone's throw from each other!  In 2011, a Duluth Regional was added to help accommodate the popularity of FIRST robotics, and that eventually became a double regional as well! In 2012, the Minnesota State High School League made First Robotics a state sanctioned sport!

Competition in the FRC is highly diverse, and there are people of every age and specialty. Each student and mentor of our team brings new and exciting knowledge to our team as a whole. Everyone has a space in FIRST robotics, and can learn and teach others. Our mentors are the catalyst to our learning about science and technology, as they help us understand core concepts, while teaching us to think critically and independently. They demonstrate respect for the students and help to guide us without doing it for us.


“Gracious Professionalism” is the core concept of FIRST robotics, and is the heart of everything we do as a team. Fierce competition and mutual gain are not mutually exclusive and FIRST has taught us that well. We compete with our hearts and every time we go out on the arena we give it our all. But we have learned that you can still try your hardest and be your best while treating other teams with respect and kindness in the process. You are only your best when you are competing against others who are their best. So, as a FIRST robotics team, we try to help and support other teams in the same way we would hope they would support us.

We are the Granite City Gearheads FIRST Robotics Team 3244 and “We are FIRST!”


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