What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing students to prospective careers in science and technology. FIRST’s mission is “to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.” Founded by Dean Kamen in 1990, the organization has brought millions of students into the realm of robotics over the past two decades.
FIRST runs multiple programs, including:
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 9th-12th graders
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for 7th-12th graders
FIRST Lego League Challenge (FLL-C) for 4th-8th graders
FIRST Lego League Explorer (FLL-E) for 1st-4th graders
FIRST Core Values
We express the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition through our Core Values:
Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
Fremont High Robotics started in 2010 as a robotics team of 10 people at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, initially called “the Grinders.” The team began participating in FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC) as Team 3501 "the Firebots" in 2011, and has attended at least 2 regional competitions each year since. The team has seen a substantial upward trend of growth, growing to a size of 131 active members in 2018 and a complete transformation of STEAM interest at Fremont High School. The team has also participated in the Championships twice since 2011 (most recently in the 2017-2018 season).
Since 2015, the Firebots have founded multiple FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams with middle school students such as Cupertino Middle School and Don Callejon Elementary School. These middle and elementary school students are tasked with designing, building, and programming a competition robot each year using LEGO Mindstorms. FLL students also conceptualize and perform research projects related to the year’s FIRST theme. The Firebots’ high school members mentors not only help the middle schoolers and guide them through their game challenge each year but they also inspire the young innovative minds.
Since 2016, the Firebots has founded and coached FIRST Lego League Jr (FLL Jr) teams with elementary school students from Don Callejon Elementary. These elementary students are tasked with designing a motorized Lego model and completing a research project and presentation related to the theme of the year.
In 2019, we have extended to founding two First Tech Challenge (FTC) teams with high school students from Fremont High School. These high school students are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. They both competed in two competitions in the fall season of 2019. Establishing these teams created a path for students to grow through FIRST robotics, proceeding from FTC to FRC. In addition, our team organized a record number of outreach events (10 events) to broaden our spread of FIRST values.
In 2020, we created an FLL video series to aid and encourage the FLL teams we support. We also expanded our FTC program by establishing a third team, the Emberbots, due to wild success from having two teams participate the year prior. We’ve expanded the size of our Business and Marketing team, including Media Lead and Events Lead, and have updated our recruitment process to reflect the diversity of fields that we promote, allowing students from more fields to apply their passion.