FIRST is not just FRC. FIRST is a series of programs that offer an exciting, educational, inspirational experience for our kids from grade school through high school. Even if you don’t know FRC from FTC, from FLL, it’s all explained here.
FLL – FIRST Lego League. The Lockport School District has one Lego League team, and many of our high school students have participated in this program. Children of all ages can participate in FLL with the help of Lego™ Mindstorms products needed to construct functional robots that can solve the new game that is provided every year. Real programming and the usage of math and science concepts are essential at this level. These young people take their program very seriously and invest a lot of effort and original thought into it. Discover more about FLL here
FTC – FIRST TECH Challenge Designed for students in grades 7 through 12, FTC focuses on TETRIX® robotics, this allows them to use reusable kit components to construct sophisticated robots. The task increases in difficulty while the programming becomes more flexible and employs real-world computer languages. For schools who can’t support an FRC team, don’t have enough students for FRC, or as an addition to an FRC team, this program is ideal. It also starts with seventh-graders, making it a natural transition between FLL and FRC. The curriculum keeps a focus on cooperative sportsmanship and teamwork while promoting science and technology. Learn More About FTC here
FRC – FIRST Robotics Competition. The Warlocks take part in this FIRST program, which is at the highest level. It is centered around full-sized robots that can weigh no more than 125 pounds and is intended for high school students. Both the mentors and the students are challenged by them because they use industrial controls and are developed in industry-standard programming languages! But the robot is not the only part of FRC. FRC gives students the opportunity to practice real-world scenarios they will face in college and in the workplace, including working with engineers and professionals, doing so within budgetary and time constraints, with no clear instructions, and using your wits to solve challenging programs in a team setting. It’s called “The Hardest Fun Ever.” The official FIRST web site explains more in depth
All the FIRST programs are international in scope and have regional competitions in many areas. Championship competitions are held for the best to attend and are a highlight that both challenges and rewards the participants.