The FIRST Robotics competition strives to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders through interesting challenges and exciting sports-like competitions. High school teams from Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Maryland and West Virginia converge on Richmond each spring to test their skills in the FIRST Robotics Competition Virginia Regional. Hosted at the VCU Stuart C. Siegel Center since 1999, the event teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way.
Students, faculty and staff volunteers from the VCU College of Engineering lend a hand with the event, mentoring high school teams or assisting with event logistics. There are many opportunities for students to work with FIRST teams and gain academic credit.
The College of Engineering also warmly welcomes FIRST team members to its ranks. Currently, the school has approximately 80 students with high school experience on FIRST Robotics teams. The recently created VCU Robotics Club was established as a result of the widespread and deep interest VCU engineering students have in robotics.
About FIRST Robotics
Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the nonprofit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics competition for high school students and the FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old.