Founded in 2003, Team 1493 had its humble beginnings with seven members and two Albany High School advisors. Today, the after-school program is now home to more than 40 students from diverse backgrounds. The mission then, which continues today, is aligned with the vision of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the world’s leading child-serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Team 1493 is focused on inspiring students of Albany High School 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. Since its’ inception, Team 1493 has worked tirelessly to serve the students of Albany High School, in order to create the people who will change the world – today and tomorrow.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRSTdesigns accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $80 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.firstinspires.org
FIRST® LEGO® League
Young innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. FIRST® LEGO® League focuses on solving real-world problems such as food safety, recycling, energy, and more using STEM concepts, plus a big dose of fun. With the guidance of two or more coaches, teams (2-10 members, grades 4-8*) apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to solve a real-world problem.
Teams design, build, and program a LEGO®MINDSTORMS® robot, then compete on a themed table-top playing field. Along their journey, students develop critical-thinking and team-building skills, build STEM self-confidence, and gain valuable perspective on the importance of failure in the learning process. FIRST LEGO League is an alliance between FIRST and the LEGO® Group. For more information, visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll/what-is-first-lego-league
* Ages 9-14 in the U.S. and Canada. Ages vary by country.
FIRST Tech Challenge
It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (up to 15 team members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.
The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards. Participants are eligible to apply for $80M+ in college scholarships. Each season concludes with regional championship events and an exciting FIRST Championship. For more information, visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/what-is-first-tech-challenge
FIRST Robotics Competition
Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”
Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship. For more information, visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/what-is-first-robotics-competition