FIRST Robotic Competition
The FIRST organisation are a group which believe in investing in and encouraging the uptake, learning and development of technology and science, mostly through challenges and events aimed to inspire and get young people involved. They are a credit to the maker crowd, and certainly OrionRobots commend them.
They run leagues for building with Lego Mindstorms (the FLL ) and the RadioShack VEX as well as the FIRST Robotics Program, which each bring together huge numbers of students from around the world to compete by solving engineering problems with robotics.
The FLL is specifically aimed at a younger target group of 9 to 14 year-olds, and a Junior league for 6 to 9 year-olds. The challenges are one of the highlights of the mindstorms events in the calendar.
OrionRobots could not cover all of the robots that are built for FIRST challenges, as according to FIRST themselves, there are around 11,000 of them!
FIRST are a non-for-profit charitable group run by thousands of volunteers - with such exciting events and challenges, it is not surprising they get such support either. They were founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen in Manchester, NH, USA. They are affiliated with many other commercial and educational groups including NASA, Lego, Universities and plenty of schools.