IndianaFIRST is an organization dedicated to growing FIRST robotics programs in the state of Indiana. Founded in the fall of 2001 as the Indiana-based affiliate of FIRST, IndianaFIRST brings FIRST programming to students in grades K-12, teaching them hands-on skills in engineering, science and technology that they can relate back to their class work.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization that aspires to transform our culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, and designs its robotics programs after a traditional high school sports model, creating an ultra-competitive, highly engaging experience for students and the adult mentors who lead the teams. Kids compete against other kids in local, state, and regional competitions in what is frequently called “The Super Bowl of Smarts.”
FIRST Robotics Programs
Teams of 2-6 students and 1-2 mentors research a real-world scientific issue and then present a solution by designing and building a model out of LEGO elements and moving parts. They show their posters, share their experiences, and receive recognition for their efforts at local events. Children learn team building and presentation skills while researching challenges facing today’s scientists.
- Game Announced: early Fall
- Build Season: 6-8 weeks
- Meetings: 1-2 hours, 1-2 days per week
For Indiana Jr.FLL resources
Teams of 6-10 students and 1-2 mentors design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous LEGO MINDSTORMS robots that perform a series of missions. Children are engaged in real-world science and technology challenges.
- Game Announced: early September
- Build Season: September – November
- Competition Season: December
- Meetings: 2-3 hours, 2-3 days per week
For Indiana FLL resources
Teams of 3-10 students, 1 coach, and 1-3 volunteer mentors design, build, and program their robots to compete on a 12’ x 12’ field against other teams. Applying real-world math and science concepts, students develop strategic problem solving, organizational, and team building skills.
- Game Announced: September
- Build Season: September – March
- Competition Season: October – March
- Meetings: 2-3 hours, 1-3 days per week
For Indiana FTC resources
Teams of 20-60 students, 1-2 coaches, and 3-10 volunteer mentors are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and, in a six-week timeframe, build and program a robot from a standard kit of parts to perform prescribed tasks against other competitors on a 27’ x 54’ field. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get.
- Game Announced: beginning of January
- Build Season: January – mid-February
- Competition Season: March & April
- Meetings: 2-4 hours, 3-5 days per week