FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a program founded to inspire young people and their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). FIRST has 4 programs made for students K-12. The Howdy Bots participate in FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition), which is for students in grades 9-12. Students design, program, and build large, 120-pound robots in just six weeks. During competitions, students compete with their robots on special playing fields. The annual build season runs for 6 weeks in January-February, and competitions take place in March and April.

During championship winning teams and others come to Houston to compete. Sometimes over 400 teams compete.

Before build season starts teams gather for FIRST to reveal the game.