Kids working on a STEM project

Innovation at FIRST®

From engineering and coding to design-thinking and community outreach, solving challenges with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is behind everything we do in the FIRST® community. FIRST programs provide the essential hands-on education, experiences, and inspiration young people need to be driven and build a better world.

Beyond game-play and team challenges, students are expanding their curiosity and confidence to create a better future for themselves and their communities through observing opportunities to real-world problem-solve for improvements, innovation, and inclusion.

To help all FIRST students take their innovations further, we’ve compiled a list of tips and resources for the innovation process and intellectual property.

Visit Innovation Resources


From improvements to the water cycle and making space duration more accessible to innovative solutions in waste management and parent-to-school communications, FIRST students have brought their inventions to market, received patents, and incorporated as businesses. Check out recent FIRST team and alumni innovation stories and updates: 




FIRST LEGO League – Innovation Project

As part of the SUPERPOWERED season, FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams participating in the Innovation Project will explore where energy comes from and how it is distributed, stored, and used – and then put their superpowered creativity to work to innovate for a better energy future.

Students will collaborate on their ideas and must consider efficient design for their user, possible barriers to implementation, document the evaluation of their invention, and validate their design with professionals working in STEM.

For questions about the FIRST LEGO League Innovation Project, email FIRST LEGO League.

FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award

We’re innovating!  The Next Generation of Celebrating Innovation at FIRST® 
One of the FIRST core values is Innovation.FIRST LEGO League teams innovate by designing creative solutions through their Innovation Project, and historically, FIRST®LEGO® League Challenge teams celebrate their Project innovation at local and championship levels, as well as through the annual Global Innovation Award and its in-person event.   

We also know teams innovate through designing and coding their robots, in their strategies for completing missions, and how they work as a team.  To better recognize the hard work done by our teams, we are in the process of reimagining how we celebrate innovation throughout the entire FIRST LEGO League Challenge experience. As a result, we have made the decision to discontinue Global Innovation Award nominations and the in-person ceremony for 2023. 
This change allows us to introduce new and exciting ways to make the celebration of innovation accessible to more students in FIRST LEGO League and across all FIRST programs.  We are already hard at work on next steps – stay tuned for more information on how FIRST will celebrate innovation in 2023 and beyond! 

In the meantime, if you have an innovation or story about innovation that has been inspired through your participation in FIRST, drop us a line at ​​​​​​​ and let us know.​​​​​​​ 


Past Winners & Innovation Ambassadors