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.

Creating Opportunities to Elevate Girls in STEM

Dec 13, 2016 By Shelley Henderson, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at FIRST


There is a long list of initiatives to grow students’ interest and proficiency in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) fields, which is good news for all kids. But in terms of recruitment, confidence building, and the availability of relevant role models, there is still a gap when it comes to girls.

Are You Teaching the First Global Language? We’re here to help

Dec 07, 2016 by FIRST Staff

Did you know that only 33 states allow students to count computer science course toward high school graduation? And although 90 percent of parents want their child to study computer science, only 40 percent of schools teach it.

2 Simple Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking

Nov 16, 2016 by Urvi Shah, CEO and founder of Strategic EdTech LLC, and the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at a private K-12 school in the Washington, DC area

The education system maintains a structure that is not conducive for innovative thinking and creation. Namely, structured time blocks of separate subject matter delivery does not allow for constructivist learning as well as integrative and design thinking. Even though we cannot blow up and rebuild the existing educational structures in the immediate, we still can use simple hacks to promote innovation in our classrooms.

Where STEM Skills and Soft Skills Meet

Oct 24, 2016 by Michelle Unser, STEM Outreach Lead, Caterpillar Inc.

Last week, our internal communications team got a frantic request for help, from an engineer who has to give a presentation at an upcoming conference but is terrified of public speaking. (Requests like this—and others related to writing—come in fairly often.) The team provided training for him, of course, but the situation made me think that if he’d been exposed to environments when he was younger that had helped him develop public speaking skills, he wouldn’t be panicking today.

Creativity = Learning

Sep 16, 2016 By Kim Wierman, Director, FIRST LEGO® League & FIRST LEGO® League Jr.

When a student’s education is inhibited by the constructs of lectured learning, their creativity suffers. Creativity lends itself to confidence and spontaneity, both crucial elements for a child’s future success.

To groom STEM students, hone their soft skills

Sep 07, 2016 By Sarah Stray, Innovation Awards Manager, FIRST

As schools warm up to new possibilities like robotics competitions, it's hard to deny the potential for STEM to teach teamwork and collaboration to a generation that will need it.

STEM into STEAM: Why the arts are crucial

Aug 25, 2016 By Sydnee Yates, content writer, PDF Supply

The sciences or the arts. Which one do you or did you study in school? This question is pretty standard when talking about education. 

Inspired by: Thomas A. Edison

Jul 21, 2016 by FIRST Staff

When it comes to innovation, the sheer volume and depth of Thomas Edison’s 1,093 patents has not been duplicated. Helping to define the standard of living we enjoy today, Edison’s (1847-1931) inventions include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, and the first system for electricity distribution.

Curricular Innovation: How can we elicit a cultural shift through education?

Jul 15, 2016 by Urvi Shah, CEO and founder of Strategic EdTech LLC, and the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at a private K-12 school in the Washington, DC area

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to “transform the world” speak to the idea that we need a cultural and societal shift. The aim of the goals is to try to find massive and overarching opportunities to solve the world’s greatest problems, such as educational deficits to food insecurity, economic stagnation, and income inequality. In order to attain these goals, we need a global culture that equips students with the ability to contribute to combating these challenges. 

Growing the Next Generation of “Philanthroteens”

Jul 01, 2016 by FIRST Staff

As adults, the way to make the biggest impact on the world is to cultivate something that will outlive us. In order to ensure that we’re making the future a better place to live, we should focus on cultivating the next generation of Philanthroteens.