[Split thread]: Is FIRST About the Robot?

FIRST is definitely about the robot.

I absolutely despise their shift in message on this over the last few years. It’s like saying a football team at the high school isn’t about football. It is about football, it’s the vehicle through which the students are learning teamwork, dedication, responsibility, etc from. FIRST needs to be treated the same.

They used to do a great job of treating it like a sport, not sure why they thought it was a good idea to get away from this.


They haven’t shifted the message. This has been the message since before I was a student. It may be more emphasized now but it hasn’t shifted.

There was great consternation over the perceived loss of that message the first time FiM released their points system. From inside AND outside the system. This may be the first time I’ve seen any evidence that the consternation might actually have been founded, though… 11 years later.


FIRST has been very open about their programs being about more than robots for as long as I can remember. I haven’t seen any shift in messaging from FIRST on this front.



And not to mention the Chairman’s Award has been around since 1992


FRC, maybe.

FIRST is like the NCAA.


Is a road trip about the car?


I think FIRST is about whatever you want it to be about. If you’re interested in the robot aspect, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved with the physical robot and the competition environment. For people that are more interested in the outreach aspects, awards like Engineering Inspiration and Chairman’s incentivize that work as well. Besides these two general categories, there’s of course other ways to contribute to the team as well through media and countless more examples.
In this way, FIRST has ensured that their program is able to cater to a larger audience rather than specifically on the robot which would attract a more niche audience.


If you’ve got a nice enough car it is.
Bill Mitchell: “The car should be a destination in of itself.”


No shotgun for you. :slight_smile:
Though you can ride in the back of my Buick Riviera (Hot Wheels)

Nah, see the robot is a campfire if you wire it wrong or something like that


FIRST Mission statement:

The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, 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.

Not to derail the thread or anything but I might be careful with that argument. In some places it’s not about football. It’s about money. But I do get where you are coming from.

Edit: The robot is the object through which FIRST has chosen to work at it’s mission. It’s the center piece of each of their programs.


Everyone be clear that this first post was split from the cheesecake thread, and I was responding to a post stating “FIRST isn’t about the robot”, which is very different from “FIRST is more than robots”.


Wonder if whoever split the thread could clarify that


Seems to be too hard if the last few splits are anything to go by…

Is FIRST about the Robot?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

So I’m already saying no.
Sumfin sumfin recognition of science and technology

I think you may mean FRC is about robots, but still no.

I don’t teach students robots, I teach them engineering. At best we use the robot as a real world application.

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Quoting the original post that Nick was replying to:


I’ve been involved with FIRST since 2006. Its NEVER been about the robot, its about the students. Its about inspiring them to become better people.
Its about encouraging them to reach outside their comfort zone and allowing them to experience things they never would with any other program.
Its about working side by side with professionals who will mentor you and teach you about real life and what a true work ethic is
Its about learning to solve complicated problems with people you don’t agree with
Its about learning that TEAM is bigger than SELF
Its about giving students who can never compete in athletics learn about teamwork
Its about watching a student who doesn’t speak the entire first year on a team, give a 20 min speech to a room full of 500 executives at a Workforce conference on what FIRST is, why its important and why you should support it as a senior in high school
Its about seeing a tiny young girl realize she can run the drill press better than the big, hunky senior boy
Its about a team using their platform to spread a message that might change someones perspective, but it also might change the world.
We don’t use students to build robots, we use robots to build amazing, creative, talented, confident global citizens.

Sorry, I’m a little passionate but you hit a nerve


Is it right to present this as a binary choice? I think trying to shoehorn this into a yes/no question is misleading.


This thread was split from the Hypothetical Cheesecake thread:

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To me, FIRST is about team building, culture, learning to live with one another through a robot. Am i missing something?


This sums up the reason why I can see where @Nick_Coussens is coming from. I’ve seen more than one case of people taking the slippery slope jump of “more than robots” to “not about robots”. FIRST is about robots, but it’s about robots as part of a larger picture in which the robot and the competition are simply smaller pieces among others. Just because they’re not the most important reason we’re here doesn’t mean if you took them away you should expect to see much still standing afterward.