The FIRST program was started as a means to inspire an early appreciation of science and technology in young people. The initiative is to interact with young people throughout most of the school year and to provide them with access to mentors and experienced professionals. The different programs and competitions offered are the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, and the Junior FIRST Lego League.

Here are descriptions, with time commitment estimates, for the major tasks throughout the year:
  • Design Development:  (5 days) Game strategy, Sketches, Engineering Design, Building of test boards and frame (CAD/CAM) 3-6 mentors (20 hrs each), 15 HS students. (32 hours each).
  • Fabrication/Assembly:  (4 weeks) HS students, teachers, parents, mentors (400 hrs over 4 weeks). Fabrication of drive base to begin ASAP after kickoff while design development continues.
  • Build Practice Court:  Team activity, in parallel to fabrication, as required. (Usually min 20 hrs for building essentials).
  • Programming:  (ASAP) 2 HS students (120 hrs each). Mentors (48 hrs).
  • Testing/Debug: (One week) 1 Teacher, 3 HS students, 2 mentors (4 hrs/day + 10 hrs on weekend).
  • Driver/Team training (One week) 5 HS students, 2 mentors (4 hrs/day). Typically combined with Testing/Debugging.
  • Other functions:  (Continuous - 10 hrs/wk) Fundraising, Uniform Design, Web Page, Robot Graphics (as required), Public Relations and Marketing, Award entries, Administration, Promotional Giveaways.
  • Shipping:  (3 days) Build crate & cart, ship robot. 1 Teacher, 5 HS students, 1 mentor (4 hrs/day).
Click HERE for the list of mentor positions and descriptions.