FIRST Programs

For students between the ages of 6-18, the four FIRST programs in the Kansas City area give young minds a chance to be a part of the hardest fun you’ll ever have!   Discover your future in a STEM career (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) by working side by side with professional mentors as you design and build robots together.  For adult Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake!   For Sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make in the youth of Kansas City.  

Take some time to explore the FIRST Progression of Programs below to find your place in the Kansas City FIRST community!  Join in today!

FIRST Robotics Competition (ages 14-18)

Dubbed the “Varsity” Sport for the Mind TM, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. With professional mentors, but no blueprints to guide them, student teams build and program robots to solve problems and performing prescribed tasks using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Bound by a six-week timeframe, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand and hone teamwork skills as they work to unleash their robots against a field of competitors. In the Kansas City FRC region, more than 50 high school teams work with Kansas City area mentors to design and build robots, and to discover the skills and education they need to pursue STEM-based careers in our region.

See the FRC robots in action!

Watch action from the final rounds of the 2011 Greater Kansas City Regional (courtesy of Time Warner Cable Metrosports).  

FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 13-18)

Designed for students ages 13-18 who want to compete head to head, FTC is a continuous-improvement engineering model designed as a sport. Teams of up to 15 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. FTC is an exceptional way for young women and men to discover how to engineer solutions to problems while becoming eligible for nearly $10 million dollars in college scholarships. 

FTC Qualifying Tournaments in Greater Kansas City

Each year, FIRST releases a new set of FTC game rules.  This new game remains a secret until the day of Kick off, when it is unveiled to the public via this page. 

A kick off event and Team Workshop will be held in Kansas City in September.  For more details, check the events section.

Click Here for more information about the Nation wide FTC Kick off.


FIRST LEGO® League (ages 9-14)

In FIRST LEGO League, children ages 9 to 14 are immersed in real-world science and technology challenges. Teams design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous LEGO robots that perform a series of missions. Through their participation, children develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning that they can make a positive contribution to society.

Interested in FIRST LEGO® League?

Participating in FLL is an amazing experience for both the kids and the adults involved. With your guidance, the children on your team are going to inspire you, and those around you, in surprising ways. If you have no technical background, don’t be nervous. The team members are the ones who do the work. You only need to ask the questions and watch them… GO!

How do I get my child on a team or start a team?  Click Here,

For more information about the local Kansas City teams, activities, rumbles, tournaments, and workshops, go to the KC FIRST Community Tab on this website.

FIRST LEGO® League Jr. (ages 6-8)

Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9, FIRST® LEGO® League Junior is a hands-on program designed to capture young children's inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. This program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the FLL JR Core Values, teams of up to 6 students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts for presentation at an exhibition (EXPO).

Get Involved

Anyone can start a FIRST LEGO League Junior team. Frequently teams are made up of neighborhood groups, school groups, home school organizations, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, family members, and after school programs.

Teams create a team Show Me Poster to represent their findings as they research the topic and will learn about simple machines as they build a model made of LEGO® elements with a motorized moving parts.  These young minds will also learn how to program their WeDo Robot as a part of their model design.  

You can find out more information about Jr. FLL here:

Information on starting a team is here:

When your child turns 9, you will want to explore joining or starting an FLL team -- which is more advanced and for children ages 9-14.

You should always check with your child's school, after school care or community organization to see if there are any existing FLL JR or FLL teams in your area. If not, you can always start one!