Inspire

Welcome to Inspire, a blog from FIRST.

After years of inspiring young people, as well as the adults who work with them, we decided it was time to share some of the things that inspire us.


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Corporate Goodness: 3 Reasons to Encourage Employees to Volunteer

Mar 25, 2019 By Mark Giordono, Vice President of Development, FIRST


As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of FIRST, we’re also celebrating three decades of great corporate partners.  Mark Giordono, vice president of development at FIRST, shares how corporate employees can be as valuable as checks to nonprofits, while turning employees into your best recruiters.

Being a Voice for Change for Women in STEM

Mar 07, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President


This International Women’s Day, we’re sharing a conversation between FIRST President Don Bossi and FIRST Canada VP of Partnerships Kim Cooper, who recently published a book about creating a more welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment for women in STEM: Girls in Science: Voices for Change.

Engineering Myself: Learning to Fail Better

Feb 19, 2019 By Julianna Schneider, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Global Challenge Participant


Understanding how to document and communicate your work to others effectively is a critical part of learning through the engineering design process. This Engineers Week, read how this paid off for FIRST participant Julianna Schneider and Team Albania at the FIRST Global Challenge.

Referee Finds Inspiration in Rural, All-Girls Robotics Program

Feb 06, 2019 By Rob Fyfe, Bechtel Engineer; FIRST Alumnus, Mentor & Referee


As head referee at a FIRST Tech Challenge event in Washington, FIRST alum and Bechtel engineer Rob Fyfe was inspired by the Nerdy Girls, a grassroots robotics community in rural Washington on a mission to plunge girls with no tech experience “into the epic and slightly magical world of robotics.”

Filmmaker Shines Light on Rural High School Robotics Team

Jan 21, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President


People love to rally behind local youth sports team, and robotics teams are no exception. Director Joe Brandmeier learned this when he created small town ROBOT, a short documentary about FIRST Robotics Competition Team 5172 “Gator Robotics” from rural Greenbush, Minnesota (pop. 719).

10 Tips for Internet Fundraising for Your Classroom or School Team

Jan 16, 2019 By FIRST Staff


Monique Dituri, a DonorsChoose.org Teacher Ambassador and FIRST mentor, shares tips for crowdfunding she’s learned from helping her high school raise over $775,000 on DonorsChoose.org, a platform for U.S. public school and public charter teachers.

My Biggest Source of Grade-School Adventure Came from My Robotics Team

Jan 02, 2019 By Rose Lam, FIRST Alum


When Rose Lam was in fourth grade, she and friends started The Ponytail Posse, an all-girls FIRST LEGO League team that later became a FIRST Tech Challenge team. Now a FIRST Alum, Rose reflects on the team’s nine-year journey – and the “massive head start” they gained on their futures.

The Future of Computer Science Education

Dec 18, 2018 By FIRST Staff


During Computer Science Education Week, FIRST hosted a #FIRSTInspiresChat on Twitter with FIRST President Don Bossi, computer science educators, FIRST sponsors, and more on the importance of improving K-12 computer science access for educators, parents, and students alike. Here are some highlights.

Why We’re Teaching Other Kids the Building Blocks of Programming and Collaboration

Dec 04, 2018 By Sanjay and Arvind Seshan, FIRST LEGO League Alumni, Coaches, & Volunteers


FIRST LEGO League Alumni Sanjay and Arvind Seshan are experienced computer science educators–and they haven’t even graduated high school yet. In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, we’re sharing how the brothers help students, teachers, and coaches learn coding with LEGO MINDSTORMS.

How Companies Can Help Students Prepare for the Future Workforce

Nov 12, 2018 By Kelli Anderson for EdSurge


EdSurge spoke with Dave Vasko, director of advanced technology at FIRST Strategic Partner Rockwell Automation, about how robotics competitions resemble the Indy 500; why you should be kind to your competition; the leg up FIRST kids have when landing STEM jobs; and his hiring philosophy.