The FIRST (“For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) program’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
Our Oakville Community FIRST Robotics Teams offers these extra-curricular experiences for young persons from grades 5 to 12 who do not have access to them through their schools. We have a proven successful track record, expanding our programs and membership base, winning competitive awards each season, promoting STEM awareness in the community, and over 95% of our alumni are in post-secondary STEM programs – most at their “first-choice” university. FIRST alumni are also eligible to apply for over $80 million of college scholarships.
We are a registered charity, and all our activities are managed by volunteer adult mentors from a wide range of technical, professional, and educational backgrounds. Our membership has grown throughout the years, and we host students from a number of schools in our community.
Our programs cannot function without the efforts of the volunteer adult mentors, and we require a minimum of two mentors to be present whenever members meet. Several of our mentors are parents of team members. Some mentors have specialized skills that can be helpful in team training, but some are non–engineering mentors who provide invaluable assistance with tasks such as administration, organization, fundraising, promotion, website and publicity, meetings’ supervision, etc. We are also planning some computer coding training for mentors helping with the FLL programs. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or helping as a meeting supervisor, please email email@example.com or submit the Contact Us Form for more information.
The Team is not affiliated with any school board and generates its annual operating revenue from membership fees, donations, and in-kind support from local industry.
For each season, we offer three programs:
- FIRST LEGO League Challenge (FLL) program will be for students in grades 5 to 8. Friendly competition is at the heart of Challenge, as small teams of up to 8 students engage in research, problem-solving, coding and engineering – building and programming a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game. As part of Challenge, teams also participate in a research project to identify and solve a relevant real-world problem. The FLL season starts in September and winds down with competitions in December and January.
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigours of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and design, build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship. The FRC season’s main activities are from September through to April.
More information about these three programs may be found on FIRST’s website.
Our Oakville Community FIRST Robotics team now has a permanent home at 481 North Service Road West, Unit A3. Teams typically meet for about 2 hours for two evenings a week. Meetings will start about 6:00 pm for the FLL programs and about 7:00 pm for the FRC programs. Nearing competition time, teams often meet frequently and on weekends.