"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.
-Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST
FIRST is just a parent program. There are 4 programs that follow the mission of FIRST and allow teams to compete. These programs are all for different age levels and each carries its own challenge and twist on how team members interact with their community. Denver currently has a few FLL teams alongside Wired Up.
FIRST Lego League Explore (formerly FLL Jr.) introduces 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders to the FIRST community. Using Lego WeDo's as their "competition vehicle," participants learn about the fundamentals of engineering while developing unique solutions to real world problems. The coding, building and design skills participants learn in FLLE will help them as they continue their FIRST journey.
FIRST Lego League Challenge is the next step in a FIRST participant's journey. FLL dives much deeper into engineering and design with the use of Lego EV3s. Teams will use these as the core of their "competition vehicles" that complete many small tasks using preprogrammed instructions. Like FLLE, FIRST Lego League teams have to develop and research solutions to real-world problems that follow a theme set by FIRST every year.
FIRST Robotics Competition is the highest teir of FIRST competition. High school students can join a team in their area if they feel they are ready for the ultimate challenge. FRC competitions and robots are extremely complex and require the highest level of engineering knowledge among FIRST programs.