FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen and Dr. Woodie Flowers in 1989 to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields. The organization is the foundation for the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO® League and FIRST Tech Challenge.
FIRST seeks to promote a philosophy of team work and collaboration among engineers and encourages competing teams to remain friendly, helping each other out when necessary. Terms frequently applied to this ethos are Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®; terms coined by Mr. Kamen and Dr. Flowers that support respect towards one's competitors and integrity in one's actions.
FIRST Australia was started in 2009, and primarily coordinates the tournaments and internal operations of FLL®, FTC® and FRC® within Australia. Since its inception, FLL has grown to over 200 teams, FTC has started in Australia and grown to over 20 teams, and FRC has expanded to 12 teams.