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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Work Hard, Don’t Give Up: Lessons Learned on the Road to FIRST Championship

Apr 10, 2018 By James and Josephine McGill, Coaches, FIRST LEGO League Team 25108 “Brainiac Maniacs,” Houston, Texas


1,400 FIRST teams from all over the world will soon descend on the cities of Houston and Detroit for the 2018 FIRST Championship Presented by Qualcomm® Incorporated. Read how a FIRST LEGO League team of Texas Girl Scouts overcame obstacles – and had fun along the way – to earn a spot in Houston.

The Whole Child Curriculum Hidden in STEM Project-Based Learning

Apr 05, 2018 By Jonathan Carpenter, M.A.Ed, M.Ed. Admin, Fourth-Grade Teacher


STEM-oriented project-based learning can have a remarkable impact on developing a student’s skills and confidence – not just in STEM, but also in reading, writing, researching, and social-emotional learning. Fourth-grade teacher Jonathan Carpenter shares how FIRST LEGO League Jr. helped his students grow.

These STEM Enthusiasts Will Give You a Front Row Seat to Inspiration

Apr 02, 2018 By FIRST Staff


Meet three STEM enthusiasts who will provide a front row seat to all the action happening at the 2018 FIRST Championship Presented by Qualcomm Incorporated. Twitch personalities DeeJayKnight and Skylias and FIRST Alum Emma Dumont share what excites them about STEM, community, and FIRST Championship.

Meeting in the Middle with Distance Learning

Mar 26, 2018 By Frank McCallum, Principal, Alberta Distance Learning Centre


A unique partnership in Alberta, Canada, provided distance learning opportunities grounded in STEM to remote First Nations communities. Frank McCallum, principal of the Alberta Distance Learning Centre, shares how distance learning bridges a barrier to STEM access.

How One Teacher Guided His Students to Give Back with a Design Thinking Challenge

Mar 20, 2018 By FIRST Staff


Science teacher Peter Graven leads his Wisconsin school districts’ robotics program and encourages students to take on STEM-based projects that give back. Peter discusses the design thinking challenge his students undertook to build a robotic medical cart for a young girl with special needs. 

FIRST LEGO League Student Making Waves in Innovation

Mar 08, 2018 By FIRST Staff


FIRST participant Allie Weber is a Teen Vogue 21 Under 21 honoree. It’s easy to see why at age 12, this accomplished inventor, maker, and STEM advocate is getting recognized for her work. Allie shares her STEM story, the inspiration behind #YoungScientistProbs, and kids who are changing the world.

5 Ways to Spur Student Growth and Opportunity Through Hands-On STEM

Mar 06, 2018 By Donald E. Bossi, President of FIRST


Originally published on The Teaching Channel’s Tchers’ Voice blog, FIRST President Don Bossi shares easy-to-adapt strategies for implementing new STEM programs or curriculum and making the most of hands-on learning in the classroom.

Global Teacher Prize Finalist Creates Change With Robotics

Feb 27, 2018 By FIRST Staff


Teacher and FIRST mentor Glenn Lee, who co-founded Hawaii’s first robotics-related program, has been named a top ten finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, selected from over 30,000 entries, for his pioneering efforts to ignite passion for STEM in his students through robotics.

Overcoming the STEM Opportunity Gap

Feb 20, 2018 By Donald E. Bossi, President of FIRST


Kids of all backgrounds, capabilities, and social circumstances are needed to address the world’s toughest challenges. FIRST President Donald E. Bossi explores how offering equitable opportunities and pathways can ensure all kids feel welcome, have a voice, and get an equal shot at finding success.

It’s Not Special Treatment: The Case for Acting to Ensure Equity

Feb 06, 2018 By Nancy Boyer, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, FIRST


Ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Nancy Boyer, Director of Research and Evaluation at FIRST, explores how to reduce gaps in STEM skills and fuel STEM interest by rethinking how we teach youth without access to opportunities that build a foundation for STEM.