FIRST includes a community of high schools that span the globe. In the FIRST regional competition that occurred in Kenner, Louisiana, (formally named the Bayou Regional) teams traveled from South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Florida, Texas, and even Turkey and China in order to compete. There are many FIRST regional competitions that occur around the United States. The top competitors of each regional go on to compete at nationals. The competitions allow teams to compete and test their six week build robots.
The FIRST community possesses a quality that many other extracurricular activities do not—that is, the willingness to assist other teams. For example, at the Bayou Regional, when the Pit Administration made an announcement that a team was looking for a part, teams were so willing to stop what they were working on and help the team in need in any way possible, either by donating an extra hand or an extra part. This was a common occurrence because as we know, building almost never goes as planned.
Throughout the weekend of the competition in Kenner, robotics mentors had the privilege of teaching the students about the Society of Peer Mentors. They were also able to showcase the three-day robot named Peggie. This exposed the students to the difference between high school and college robotics by showing them the difference in pace concerning the construction of a new robot. Through assisting at the competition, the mentors were able to reach out to the students and help them through the transition from high school to collegiate level robotics.