FIRST was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989,  with inspiration and assistance from physicist and MIT professor emeritus Woodie Flowers, with the intention of increasing the involvement and interest of young people in science and technology.

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST website

FIRST stands for: “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. Today this international youth organization operates FRC, FLL, JFLL, and FTC. More information is available on the FIRST website.


FRC is the extension of FIRST that the Washburn Millerbots are involved in. FRC stands for: “FIRST Robotics Competition” and is for grades 9-12.

FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.  It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

FRC website