“Robotics is not just about the manufacturing of a robot, it takes community involvement and teamwork. It is not just our school’s robot, it is our town’s robot. It stretched beyond even that. The experience I enjoyed from FIRST robotics has been totally awesome!” — FIRST Team Member
FIRST provides opportunities you won’t find anywhere else, and there’s something for everyone, technical and non-technical alike. Building a robot includes mechanical design, computer programming, electronics, and working with power tools. Building & promoting a FIRST team can include graphic design, business and finance, public relations and marketing – and more!
If your school already has a team, try attending a meeting. Don’t be afraid to try something you don’t entirely know, and be sure to ask lots of questions. If your school doesn’t yet have a team, consider working with a teacher to start one. There may also be a community-based team near you.
And did we mention the over $30 million in college scholarships available to FIRST participants?
A FIRST team brings many benefits to students that are reflected outside of team activities. Over 89% of FIRST participants reported an increase in self confidence from their time in the program1 and 70% of alumni reported increased motivation in their school studies; over 88% of FIRST alumni go on to college2.
In our region last year, 33% of all our FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team members were female. On our co-ed FRC teams in western & central PA, 30% of our team members were female. What a great way to inspire more young women in STEM!
Start a Team and bring these benefits to your school.
Part of what makes FIRST special is mentorship. Corporations and industry professionals bring their expertise to the team, and impart their skills to the students.
Building robots also takes a lot of resources, so also please consider donating monetarily or in-kind to the FIRST program. Help out your community and the future generation by sponsoring a FIRST team.
Invest in our students – the engineers, scientists, computer programmers, and technologists of the future. Be a sponsor of FIRST programs in Western / Central PA.
FIRST is a volunteer-driven and -operated organization. Our success is a direct result of the extraordinary commitment of individuals who give their time and resources.
Volunteer roles include robot inspectors, team queuers, field reset, safety glasses attendants and more. Click here for more information on becoming a volunteer.
You did FIRST in high school, and now you can get involved in a whole new way – connect with us and help inspire the next generation thru FIRST!
To connect on the national/world level:
- Visit FIRST Alumni (at www.firstinspires.org) – includes links to scholarships, volunteering, and programs exclusively for FIRST alumni.
- Join the FIRST Alumni LinkedIn group.
To connect on the regional level (Western & Central PA):
- Join the local Facebook page for FIRST Alumni in our region, & the Pittsburgh FIRST Facebook page.
- Join the Steel City Robotics Alliance.
- Volunteer with us! Register with FIRST to volunteer for an event, email FIRSTPittsburghVolunteers@gmail.com for more info.
- Mentor a team – Contact us to let us know your area (interest, expertise, & geographical, too).
If you’d like to receive news and info about our region, including ways to be involved with FIRST in western & central Pennsylvania, drop us a note to let us know. Thanks!