Welcome to the official web site for all the FIRST programs in Illinois
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, this not-for-profit public organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while gaining self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
The founder, Dean Kamen, is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology are the cornerstones of FIRST. Over 300,000 youth and more than 120,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from over 60 countries participated in the 2013-2014 FIRST season.
FIRST's Progression of Programs consists of four programs - Jr.LEGO (Jr.FLL), LEGO (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The programs vary by age and challenge so that learning never stops building upon itself. Starting at age 6 and continuing through middle and high-school levels up to age 18, young people can participate at any level.
Illinois FIRST participates at Techweek in Chicago - check it out!
Watch the WGN TV interview
In April, the four programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path. To view a summary of this amazing event, watch the 2014 FIRST Championship Wrap-up Video .
Learn more about FIRST, its robotics programs, and the FIRST community, by clicking on the programs above.
Below is an interactive map you can use to see where teams for each program are located in Illinois (mapped by zip code). Each team is represented by a balloon that is color coded as seen in the legend on the bottom right corner of the map. You can select which program's teams are displayed by selecting or deselecting the corresponding check mark in the box next to each program on the legend.