FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST LEGO League teams, composed of students grades 4-8, spend weeks building and programming robots made from Lego kits, and compete by performing "missions" on pool table-sized playing fields. FIRST Tech Challenge contestants, from grades 7-12, compete with more complex robots in a larger arena.
The College of Engineering at Montana State University has coordinated and hosted the FIRST tournaments since 2007.
The 2017 FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge tournaments were held January 27-28. Dates for the 2018 FLL and FTC tournaments at Montana State University are February 2-3, 2018 in Shroyer Gymnasium.