FIRST Robotics Competition for Kids Comes to Rockland

FIRST Robotics Competition for Kids
FIRST Robotics Competition for Kids

FIRST Robotics Competition for Kids

Does your child have a passion for STEM and robotics? Not only incredible skills to learn, science and technology is the wave of the future – for both career opportunities and its incorporation in our lives. Thus, it is so important to foster this love when our kids are young and excited to build.

Incredibly, there is a hyper-specific robot community for them called FIRST, (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Designed for kids ages 4-18, this robotics community offers a collection of team-based robotics programs. Founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building. Thus, they help young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. Incredibly, alumni of the program gain access to scholarships, internships, and other opportunities.

FIRST Robotics Competition

This March, FIRST is hosting the FIRST Robotics Competition. At this live event, 48 high-school teams from New York State, the UK, and Turkey compete in the ultimate robotics challenge. This features the showcase of around 1,000 students and their work. Held at Rockland Community College, this competition combines science and technology, along with the excitement of sports.

Incredibly, this is the long-awaited return of this competition since COVID. The event is held from March 7th-March 9th. Here, teams are challenged to build industrial-size robots. Teams will use 100-pound custom-built robots and kits for their creations. Once these young inventors create the robots, teams participate in regional competitions. This measures the effectiveness of the robots, collaboration between teams, and the determination of the students. Additionally, teams design a “brand,” as well as showcase their knowledge and use of STEM. Thus, teams work with professional engineers and mentors as they craft their creations

Finally, the event includes a college fair and STEM career exhibits on Friday, March 9th.

Local Teams Compete
FIRST Championship in Houston on April 21, 2023

Local Teams Compete

Locally, there are 10 teams from lower Hudson Valley schools and communities from Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. Following this event, teams compete for honors and recognition. Thus, this rewards design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships. Incredibly, robotics team winners will advance to earn a spot in the FIRST Championship in  Texas.

“Our events are the culmination of countless hours of preparation by our teams of students, coaches, and mentors,” said Collin Fultz, senior program director of FIRST Robotics Competition. Collin added, “The event is part competition and part celebration of what our teams have achieved this year. A few teams will be crowned champions. However, all our participants leave the season as better problem-solvers. Additionally, they become more gracious professionals, and more prepared to tackle the challenges of the future.”

FIRST Robotics Programming

Beyond the competition, kids can enjoy a range of after-school and robotics. This includes the following:


Designed for kids ages 4-16, this class focuses on an introduction to STEM. Additionally, the class focuses on hands-on activities,  critical thinking, coding, and design skills.

FIRST Tech Challenge

Designed for kids ages 12-18 years old, coaches and mentors guide participants. Thus, kids develop STEM skills and use engineering principles. Additionally, teams work with a reusable robot kit. Incredibly, these kits can be coded and used for different programming languages.

FIRST Robotics Competition

Designed for ages ages 14-18, kids work in teams to build and program robots. Additionally, this includes engineering and problem-solving skills, as well as working with mentors who will help guide them to apply these skills to real-world situations.

FIRST Robotics Competition Details

March 7th-March 9th
Families watch 48 teams of high school students as they play, compete, and cooperate in alliances.

Friday and Saturday from 12:00pm-4pm

Families visit the college fair, as well as STEM career exhibits.

Rockland Community College
Eugene Levy Fieldhouse
145 College Road
Suffern, NY

Additionally, there are competitions in the fingerlakes at Rochester Institute of Technology and in Albany at the MVP Arena.

For additional information, visit firstinspires.org