NYC NJ First - Discovering the genius in every kid.Kids and FLL

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About Us

Inspiring Achievement

The Impact of FIRST Participation

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“When kids are engaged, inspired, and their successes celebrated by their community, they discover that they can be geniuses.”

- Randy Schaeffer, NYC/NJ Regional Director


Inspiring Achievement

FIRST participants achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. While they are building their robots, kids get to work in teams, manage resources, solve problems, make decisions, assume leadership responsibilities, communicate ideas, and apply scientific and mathematical knowledge as they design and build their robots.

The teams, which operate much like mini-corporations, are responsible for their own research and development, fundraising, marketing, management, and communications. FIRST encourages students to understand all aspects of a project and the need for marketing, information research, as well as mechanical knowledge.

The excitement, fun and engagement of FIRST activities help students to believe they can be successful academically and in life. Many students often choose to pursue professions that they hadn’t considered before, such as electrical or robotics engineering. Students absorb the values of FIRST, such as teamwork, responsibility, organization, respect, and consideration for others and use them in every aspect of their lives.

Celebrating Success

Teams have the opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement of regional robotics competitions as well as the opportunity to move on to the Championship held in Atlanta, GA. These high-energy, sports-like events are characterized by a strong spirit of “Gracious Professionalism” - a coined FIRST term that means always doing “the right thing” for your team and the teams you compete against.

There is more to the FIRST competitions than the excitement of seeing robots compete. The most coveted prize is the Chairman’s Award, given to one team at each regional and one team at the international competition. To win a Chairman’s Award, a team must tell its story in a compelling narrative that highlights their teamwork and collaborative effort and how they exemplified the true meaning and spirit of FIRST.

FIRST teams also compete for other awards that celebrate safety, sportsmanship, quality craftsmanship, creativity, innovative engineering design, and more. Select “rookie” teams are recognized with awards as well.

Read some of our success stories.

FIRST site