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.

Robotics: The only high school sport where every kid can go pro

Jan 13, 2016 by Ray Almgren, Chairman, FIRST in Texas and Vice President, National Instruments

Recently, Texas joined a growing list of states that have launched initiatives to make robotics a full-fledged sport, accessible to all students. In the following article, Ray Almgren, Chairman, FIRST in Texas and Vice President, National Instruments shares why school-based programs like this are so important to the future workforce of the United States. 

Robotics is the sport for the 21st century.

You don’t have to be COOL to be a STEM Role Model

Jan 06, 2016 by Meagan Pollock, Director of Professional Development, NAPE

I wasn’t particularly cool in high school, though I wasn’t exactly un-cool either. Successfully crossing the boundaries between the jocks, brainiacs, and the student council kids, I made it through mostly unscathed. Being a national champion powerlifter, ranked number 2 in my class, and winning student body President on a platform of “Change” afforded me a semi-safe haven in this liminal state between cool/un-cool. Of course, I wanted to be cool; who didn’t in high school?

Who is ‘Most Likely to Succeed’?

Dec 28, 2015 By Mark Greenlaw

“The purpose of education is to engage students with their passions and growing sense of purpose, teach them critical skills needed for career and citizenship, and inspire them to do their very best to make their world better.”

Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith in “Most Likely to Succeed”

A philosophy to live by

Dec 22, 2015 By Mark Greenlaw

I know exactly where I was on June 24, 2013. I was sitting on my back porch, reading “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” by Yvon Chouinard, founder of clothing designer Patagonia. I know this because I was inspired to take a photo of a specific passage from the book with my iPhone (more on that later), which captured the exact date.

A teacher’s gift: The value of extracurricular activities

Dec 15, 2015 by Lisa Siegmann, Assistant Principal of Hunter College High School, NY

I often hear teachers speak passionately about their work in the classroom, but it’s the time spent with young people in extracurricular activities that generates a special kind of reward for students and teachers alike. After classes end, teachers become coaches on the athletic fields, directors from the stage wings, advisors within soup kitchens, and even mentors in robot workshops.

Mastering the learning process

Dec 08, 2015 by Drew McConnell, Manager of Digital Learning, FIRST

I sat down next to Kevin, an intelligent high school junior, in the Introduction to Programming class that I teach. As he stared at the lines of code on his computer screen, I asked him how his video game project was coming along.

"Well I know what I need to do, but I don't know how. You haven't told me how to do it yet," Kevin said.

Advice for students about ‘true education’

Dec 01, 2015 by Dr. Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

In your lifetime, many things will change dramatically. If you accept what most schools offer as preparation for the future, you may be disappointed. Often, we adults are too confused and disorganized to give you a good future-oriented education. Instead, we many times offer years of training and testing. You must save yourself.

Feeling vulnerable?

Nov 20, 2015 by Mark Greenlaw


Although many of you saw the redesigned FIRST website for the first time earlier this week, on September 9, we launched a beta version to a group of about 300 members of the FIRST Community. It was the first public unveiling of a project that a group of us had worked on for the last nine months. I happened to be at a conference in Boston that morning, and while I found myself uncharacteristically agitated thinking about the launch of the new site, I could not put my finger on why.


Nov 18, 2015

“When I gave this thing the name FIRST, I said 'It's all about inspiration. If we don’t change what they’re inspired by, the world will.’ When I thought about that, it never occurred to me that one of the people who would end up being inspired is me. By all of you … And I hope that you all inspire each other.”

FIRST Founder, Dean Kamen