The Kealakehe Tiki Techs take part in FIRST as team 3880. FIRST was created in 1989 by Dean Kamen and stands for “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. FIRST is an organization committed to inspiring young minds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, all of which are necessary to compete in FIRST competitions.
Students competing in FIRST competitions are given six weeks to design, build, and program a robot that can complete the year’s complex game tasks and score more points than their opponents. These teams of students compete against each other in alliances. Competing in alliances challenges students to work together in an aspect of competition coined ‘Coopertition™’, which is defined as ‘competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.’ It is an important aspect because a team may be in your alliance one round and could be part of the opposing alliance in the next round.
FIRST encourages collaboration and team work among engineers and encourages students of all ages around the world to pursue their dreams. Another important part of competition is Gracious Professionalism™. Gracious Professionalism™ ‘encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects people and the community.’ Gracious Professionalism™ enhances the competition experience by allowing teams to learn and bond with each other.