StudentsFIRST founder, Robin Lee
StudentsFIRST founder, Robin Lee

StudentsFIRST founder, Robin Lee

StudentsFIRST founder, Robin Lee, was a member of Team 2910 Jack-in-the-Bot and was kicked off the team for saying privately that the mentors treat the students like they are “disposable.” The head coach was determined to keep students from discussing the adult overreach that was rampant on the team.

While Robin had kept the team’s secret for years, being kicked off the team created an opportunity to advocate for change. When Robin was expelled from Team 2910, the main violation was of Robin’s First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Robin formed a Freedom of Speech Society in October 2023 to address that issue.

However, the topic of Robin’s speech, adult over-involvement in building robots, resonated strongly with robotics teams all across the United States. Teams with over-involved adults deprive students of the opportunity to learn. Teams that emphasized student learning unfairly compete against mentor-built bots.
Clearly, this issue affects all teams

StudentsFIRST is founded with the following mission:
StudentsFIRST is a group of students and adults working to ensure student education is the focus of robotics teams.

Our goal is to advocate for more equitable competitions, preserve the delight of discovery, build student-centered teams, and live up to FIRST’s values.
StudentsFIRST is not a part of FIRST(c).

I hope you will join us!