FIRST Robotics

What is FIRST?

“FIRST® inspires 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 foster well-rounded life capabilities, including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”  And FIRST is more than just robots. Participants from our community and across the world build confidence and community as they look toward the future as citizens of the world.

According to FIRST...

  • At all levels in approximately 110 countries across the globe
  • 81% of FIRST go on to declare majors in STEM
  • 83% of FIRST Alumni have the confidence to take on leadership roles in school



As a STEM hub, we are committed to providing high-quality, hands-on learning experiences for students throughout our region. We believe in the mission and values of FIRST and the power of a team experience to spark excitement and engagement. The 2022- 2023 competition season welcomed our first three teams serving grades 4 – 12. In the 2023- 2024 competition season, we will expand to offer a team experience for students in K – 12.

Summer Coach Training – Register Today!

Are you a new FIRST Lego League Challenge or FIRST Tech Challenge coach for the 2023-2024 season and unsure what you’ve signed up for, how to get started, and how to be successful with your team? Join INNOVATE Albion and Lakeview Robotics for our coach training sessions.  These full-day workshops will get you up to speed with everything FIRST and prepare you to support your team best. Click the workshop below to learn more about what to expect and register.

  • CANCELLED FIRST Lego League Challenge Workshop August 12, 8:00am – 4:00pm
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Workshop August 19, 8:00am – 4:00pm – Registration closes 8/16

Lego Explore (K – 3rd Grade) | New Team 2023

This team will be new for the 2023-2024 FIRST season. As a team, our will focus on exploring the fundamentals of engineering, real-world problems, and unique solutions.

In FIRST LEGO Explore, “teams of students ages 6-10 focus on the fundamentals of engineering as they explore real-world problems, learn to design, and code and create unique solutions made with LEGO bricks and powered by LEGO® Education SPIKETM Essential.”

If you have a 2nd -3rd grade student interested in our LEGO Explore team or if you are interested in being a volunteer coach team, please complete this form.  The 2023 season will kick off in August 2023.

Sparks & LEGOs | FIRST LEGO League (4th – 5th Grade)

This team had an awesome rookie season coached by Ed Chelaydan and Bryan Goddard! This team spent August – December refining their robot, coding successful missions, and learning about Energy in all its forms.

FIRST LEGO League Challenge creates a world where students meet science and technology and want more. Where obstacles and challenges are eagerly met. Where gaining confidence and life skills are by-products of a good time.”

If you have a 4th or 5th-grade student who is interested in joining Sparks & LEGO’s or if you are interested in being a volunteer coach, please complete this form.  The 2023 season will kick off in August 2023.

Sparks & Duct Tape | FIRST Tech Challenge (6th – 8th Grade)

A small big mighty team in the 2022-2023 competition season, this team rose to the challenge and made significant improvements all season. They are pictured here as recipients of the Most Improved Robot award given at their first competition as a part of the Michigan South Central Michigan Robotics League.

FIRST Tech Challenge, “The premier middle school sport where teams of students, guided by mentors, design and build 18”X18” robots to battle in a FIRST designed game in a contest of ingenuity and innovation.”

If you have a 6th – 8th-grade student interested in joining Sparks & Duct Tape, please complete this form. The 2023 season will kick off in August 2023, with pre-season activities happening through the summer months.

N.E.R.D. Spark | FIRST Robotics Competition (9th – 12th Grade)

This team brings together students from 2 diverse communities and 11 different schools to learn and grow while performing at a high level. During their rookie season (2023), the team received the Rookie Inspire Award, Top Rookie Seed at Lakeview 1 District Qualifier, and won the Lakeview 1 District Qualifier with alliance members FRC Team 4810 I.Am.Robot from Clinton Township and FRC Team 5675 WiredCats from Mattawan High School.  Click here to learn even more about N.E.R.D. Spark. 

FIRST Robotics Competition, “the ultimate varsity sport where teams of high school students and their industry mentors design and build large-scale robots to battle in fierce 3 vs. 3 competitions.”

If you have a 9th – 12th grader interested in joining N.E.R.D. Spark, please complete this form. The 2024 season will kick off in January, with pre-season activities happening through the summer and fall months.