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FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., the 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.

FIRST provides two well-known programs, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for high school-aged young people and FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for 9 to 14 year-olds.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps young people discover the rewards and excitement of education and careers in science, engineering, and technology. FRC challenges high-school-aged young people – working with professional mentors - to design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students.

FIRST LEGO League introduces 9 to 14 year-olds (9 to 16 outside North America) to the fun and experience of solving real-world problems by applying math, science, and technology. FIRST LEGO League is an international program for children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998. Each September, FLL announces the annual Challenge to teams, which engages them in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design using LEGO MINDSTORMS and NXT technologies. After 8 intense weeks, the FLL season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Woburn is proud to host FLL Qualifiers for local FLL teams for the past decade.