FAQ

What does NE FIRST stand for?

New England FIRST supports the FIRST Robotics Competition and other STEM education programs in the six New England states. FIRST is an acronym: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST operates youth robotics competitions on a global scale.

How can I get involved?

There are so many ways to participate in the FIRST STEM programs. Children of all ages have a competition or exposition that meets their developmental stage, and industry expertise is needed from many adult mentors and coaches in all fields. Navigate to Get Involved in the main menu, tell us who you are, and follow the steps to connect with teams, volunteer for an event or become a sponsor!

How do I find a team for my child in my hometown?

FIRST offers a Find a Team system that can help you determine which teams are local to you.

 

Most teams exist within schools as extracurricular activities, so the first place to check for a team would be your child's school. Generally, the school-based teams are open only to enrolled students. 

 

Other teams are formed through community organizations such as 4-H, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Boys & Girls Clubs.

 

If no teams are nearby, visit your state's page on this website to be in touch with local program delivery partners and determine how you might start a team of your own!

What is the difference between a mentor and a volunteer?

Mentors and coaches help a team, whether that team competes in FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition programs.

 

A volunteer typically refers to someone who helps an event or the program as a whole, rather than a specific team. All mentors volunteer their time, but not all volunteers are mentors!

 

If you'd like to help, there are many options available depending on the amount of time you'd like to give.

What are the safety guidelines for in-person events in 2022?

NE FIRST guidelines require face coverings/masks to be worn by all attendees. Events are not open to the general public: all attendees must be rostered team members/mentors or registered volunteers. Teams should be vaccinated or receive a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within 72 hours of competing. 

Event committees will follow both NE FIRST guidelines and venue guidelines. In the event that these guidelines contradict each other, the stricter guideline will take precedence. We are trusting our community to stay safe and make appropriate choices to compete in person.

What are the plans for FRC competitions in 2022?

NE FIRST is making many plans for a safe and successful in-person FRC season for 2022. Options include reducing the number of team members representing each team, reducing the number of volunteers running the event, and changing from a traditional event schedule to a 1-day event schedule.

 

These plans are fluid and are subject to CDC recommendations. As of February 1, 2022, NE FIRST is operating under the assumption that Plan A will be in place in March and April 2022.

What impact does FIRST have on students who participate?

FIRST students are two times more likely to show an increase in STEM-related attitudes and interests than comparison group students. Positive impacts are evident for all FIRST students regardless of race, gender, income, or community type. By their fourth year of college, FIRST alumni are more likely to be majoring in STEM fields than comparison group peers. Young women in FIRST have significant gains in all STEM areas and are specifically more likely to take courses and declare majors in engineering or computer science.