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.

FIRST Alum Builds Solar Car

Oct 23, 2019 Written by FIRST Staff

FIRST alum Tina Li, who participated in the prestigious World Solar Challenge as part of the Stanford Solar Car Project team, spoke about designing and engineering a solar car and how the challenge builds on her FIRST experience.

A Message about Dr. Woodie Flowers

Oct 12, 2019

Dear FIRST community, It is with a heavy heart we share that Dr. Woodie Flowers has passed away from medical complications.

Five Quotes to Live By from 2019 FIRST Inspire Gala Honoree, Soledad O’Brien

Oct 10, 2019 By FIRST Staff

Soledad O’Brien, an award-winning journalist, speaker, author, philanthropist, and founder/CEO of the Starfish Media Group, is a fierce advocate for education. As we look forward to honoring O’Brien at the 2019 FIRST Inspire Gala on November 7, we’re sharing five of her most inspirational quotes.

Hear My Voice: Youth Leadership at FIRST

Jul 18, 2019 By Katie Johnson, FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Youth Advisory Committee Member & FIRST Alum

FIRST alum Katie Johnson discusses the impact of her decade as a FIRST participant and her work on the FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Youth Advisory Committee, which helped create new youth training that supports FIRST in making all students’ experiences more inclusive.

A Message from FIRST President Don Bossi

Jul 11, 2019 Written by FIRST President Donald E. Bossi

FIRST President Don Bossi shares a heartfelt message about the future leadership of FIRST.

Investing in Employees and Communities, Together

Jun 25, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President

Best-in-class companies are using their social good initiatives to evaluate employees and identify emerging leaders, while helping staff support their communities. This was the topic at a session FIRST President Don Bossi moderated at Engage for Good, an industry-leading conference on social impact.

How our Learning Differences are our Super Powers

Jun 18, 2019 By Kenny Bae, FIRST Tech Challenge Coach & Physics Teacher, Wolcott School, Chicago

Kenny Bae, FIRST coach and physics teacher for Wolcott School, a Chicago school that supports students with learning differences, shares how his students’ strengths have helped them succeed in FIRST, create innovative projects to make STEM more accessible, and build self-confidence.

How to Encourage Youth to Pursue Manufacturing, Middle-Skills Careers

May 29, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President

FIRST President Don Bossi explores how businesses can generate awareness about the possibilities provided by careers in manufacturing, including debunking common misconceptions about middle-skills careers and providing the training, education, and mentorship students need to be successful.

Kendrick Castillo and Team 4418 Update

May 14, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President


Dear FIRST community,

The tragic death of Kendrick Castillo during the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado last week has continued to weigh heavily on my mind and many others in our FIRST community. Kendrick was an active member of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4418, STEM IMPULSE. Read more here.

How I Inspire my Students Outside the Classroom

May 13, 2019 By FIRST Staff

For Teacher’s Appreciation Week, we caught up with Woodie Flowers Award winner and district-wide “Teacher of the Year” recipient Gail Drake. As a teacher and FIRST mentor, her goal is “to inspire kids to be the best that they can be, and to give them that feeling internally.”