FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Happy Birthday Us with a SWEET Twitch Show!!!

Mar 20, 2019 Written by Frank Merrick.



Hype Train FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Excitement

Is that Cargo on top of that cake? Sweet!

Today FIRST turns 30! Don’t believe it? Check out this Birth Certificate!!!

FIRST Birth Certificate

Where were you 30 years ago today? Or even were you 30 years ago today?


We’ve come such a long way in that time*, even our name has changed, as we eventually dropped the ‘United States’ part of our official name. The year we formed, we had zero teams and zero events. Today FIRST has:

  • 615,000+ active students on 72,000+ teams in 100+ countries
  • 250,000+ mentor, coach, judge, and volunteer roles
  • 3,000+ annual events
  • $80 million+ in scholarship opportunities
  • Millions of alumni and families

FIRST has been around for 30 years, and we want to be around another 30, then another 30, then another 30. Can you imagine what FIRST would look like at 100? I can’t, but you can help us get there by making a donation. Believe me, I know what we already ask of our volunteers and teams, as I started out as a Mentor for FIRST 15 years ago, and we are so grateful for everything they do. But if you find yourself inclined to provide a donation, no matter the amount, it would be sincerely appreciated.

AND we have an exciting show on our Twitch channel tonight at 8pm ET! We will be LIVE from MIT with Dr. Woodie Flowers and host Libby Kamen, with special messages from Dean and some of his closest friends (including some cool surprises!). We will reflect on our amazing history, so you won’t want to miss the more than 30 minutes of retro content and never-before-seen footage of vintage robots!

The FIRST staff is getting together at lunchtime to celebrate with some macaroni and cheese** and birthday cake. We’re looking forward to it!

I hope everyone is having a great season so far!




*Know what else was born this month 30 years ago? The World Wide Web, in a paper published by Tim Berners-Lee. His boss wrote ‘vague but exciting’ on the cover of his proposal. I wonder if thirty years ago the phrase ‘vague but exciting’ could have been applied to FIRST? Maybe, but no more!

** But not any old Mac and Cheese. Mac and Cheese from Mr. Mac’s in Manchester, New Hampshire. While I don’t know what varieties will be available for our birthday lunch, I have my fingers and toes crossed for the Blazin’ Buffalo Chicken. Angels themselves fall to their knees and weep with joy over this ineffable blend of pasta, cheese, chicken, and hot sauce.


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