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.

Learn more about Inspire.

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.

Living and Learning, Even in the Hardest of Conditions

Jan 17, 2018 By Alma Bertoni, Coach, FIRST LEGO League Team “CSI Cybernetic Lions”

Alma Bertoni, a FIRST LEGO League coach and teacher from San Juan, Puerto Rico, shares how her students have persevered since Hurricane Maria devastated their island, as well as their journey exploring solutions to help their community through HYDRO DYNAMICS, the 2017/2018 FIRST LEGO League Challenge.

How a Tiara Inspires My Volunteer Work in STEM Education

Jan 09, 2018 By Lenore M. Edman, Co-Founder, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories; FIRST Mentor & Volunteer


Lenore M. Edman, co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and a FIRST volunteer, shares how a FIRST alumna named Callie and her L.E.D. crowd shone brightly as a role model at a FIRST Robotics Competition event.

Why You Should Consider Supporting STEM Education This Holiday Season

Dec 19, 2017 By Mark Giordono, Vice President of Development, FIRST

With STEM jobs on the rise, it’s an incredible time to be a curious child. However, all kids need equitable access to STEM engagement opportunities and relevant mentorship to build a foundation for a bright future. Supporting STEM education helps kids find their passion and reach their goals.

It's Important to Support STEM All Year Round

Dec 06, 2017 By Jay Flores, Global STEM Ambassador, Rockwell Automation

It’s important to keep students challenged, especially during breaks from school. Equally as important is the atmosphere. Rule one: have fun. Jay Flores, global STEM ambassador for Rockwell Automation, explores interesting ways to keep kids involved in learning, even when school’s out. 

Investing in A Culture of Gratitude

Nov 22, 2017 By Mark Giordono, Vice President of Development, FIRST

This time of year, many of us pause to give thanks. At FIRST, we’re grateful to our tireless mentors, coaches, volunteers, alumni, sponsors, fundraisers and donors who support our mission wholeheartedly. They deserve to hear our thanks not just now, or at the end of the season, but all year round.

To Hire STEM-Literate Graduates, Companies Must Help Develop Them

Oct 18, 2017 By Don Bossi, President, FIRST

The demand for qualified STEM talent is urgent; opportunities in STEM fields are expected to reach more than 2.7 million openings in 2020. And, in the not-so-distant future, all careers – whether they’re in engineering or marketing, blue-collar or white-collar – will require STEM skills and digital literacy.

How One Teacher Founded a Whole New High School Inspired by FIRST

Sep 27, 2017 Interview by Robyn D. Shulman, founder and senior editor, EdNews Daily

Scott Heister, an engineering and physics teacher, has taught in the Ypsilanti, Michigan, community for the past 25 years and has mentored FIRST teams for 19 years. When his school district restructured a few years ago, Heister pushed for a new school built around principles of FIRST, inspired by the engagement he saw in his students during the robotics season.

How One Act of Kindness Changed Me

Sep 20, 2017 By Rhodes Conover, FIRST Alumnus; Student, Florida Polytechnic University

We had failed. As other teams celebrated their victories, our robot sat motionless on the playing field; each cheer from the crowd felt like salt in our wounds.