FIRST: a youth-based program to create & inspire our future innovators and leaders

Executive Director Blog

February 12, 2016



Greetings to all.  There is quite a bit going on in the world of FIRST, and here is a glimpse of our activities in Illinois.

Our 4 programs are going strong, and we are approaching 900 FIRST teams in the state of Illinois, with over 7,000 students.  Our goal is to give any student that wants to participate in FIRST the opportunity to do so.

  • FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL Jr.) has Expo events throughout the year, and registration stays open most of the year as well.
  • FIRST LEGO League (FLL) had a great season, culminating with 2 State Championships held in Elgin and Champaign during January.
  • FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is coming to the end of its season, with two League Championships this weekend, and the Illinois State Championship on February 26 & 27 in Elgin.
  • FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is currently in its build season, with competitions starting in March.

It has truly been exciting seasons for all.  We encourage those of you involved in the younger age programs (FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League) to come to see our older age programs.  If you want to continue in FIRST after graduating from FIRST LEGO League, come to the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship or one of the FIRST Robotics Competition regionals.  This will give you a good idea of what is to come.

This year we are celebrating 20 years of hosting FIRST competitions in Illinois.  If you can, come to the 20th anniversary celebration of the Midwest Regional in Chicago on April 1 and 2.


We have been working to get the word out about FIRST, as we feel this is important to grow the programs.  Watch this recent interview broadcast on Comcast Newsmakers as our way of spreading the word.





You may have noticed some subtle changes locally as we have worked to consolidate our branding.  Some notable changes are:

Also follow us on Social Media.  We have Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts for FIRST Illinois Robotics that can be accessed from the bottom of any page on our website.  If you have questions or comments, send them to us at

As always, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible as we work to continue to grow and improve our programs to inspire youth in Science and Technology.

Best regards,


 Exec Director Blog 10-02-14

Exec Director Blog 02-02-15


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