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 Alumni Make Manufacturing More Accessible with 3-D Printing Startup

Jun 14, 2018 By FIRST Staff

FIRST Alumni Jonathan Schwartz and Max Friefeld co-founded Voodoo Manufacturing, a Brooklyn-based robotics 3-D printing factory, after selling their first company to MakerBot. They shared what inspired Voodoo, advice for entrepreneurs, and what FIRST taught them about engineering, and teamwork.

These Young Innovators are Solving Global Water Challenges

Jun 07, 2018 By FIRST Staff

A travel device that cleans produce. An app that helps families conserve shower water. A kit that tests ocean water quality on-site. These are just a few inventions from the 20 FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award Semi-Finalists, who will be honored in a ceremony June 21 in San Jose, Calif.

Reaching Students with Special Needs Using Kinesthetic STEM Programs

May 23, 2018 By FIRST Staff

When the STEM director for New York City’s special education district sought kinesthetic programs to reach students with special needs, she partnered with FIRST NYC to pilot FIRST LEGO League Jr. The program has proven to be a tremendous success, including an annual expo at the NY Hall of Science.

What 15,000 Kids Taught Me About Creativity

May 10, 2018 By Steven W. Anderson, Learning Evangelist, Speaker, Author

After spending time with FIRST LEGO League teams at the 2018 FIRST Championship, educational consultant Steven W. Anderson shares how authentic learning tasks, problem solving and collaboration allows students’ creativity to flourish.

To Build Next-Gen STEM Leaders, Universities and Industry Must Collaborate

Apr 24, 2018 By Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST

Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST, highlights takeaways for university leaders from his recent SXSW EDU panel on non-profit and corporation partnerships, with help from Erica Fessia, Qualcomm’s director of community engagement, and Jay Flores, Rockwell Automation’s global STEM ambassador.

Afghanistan’s First Female Tech CEO on the Importance of Digital Literacy

Apr 17, 2018 By FIRST Staff

Serial entrepreneur Roya Mahboob mentors the acclaimed Afghan girls robotics team, which will be competing in FIRST Championship Detroit next week. Roya discusses her work in digital literacy for her nonprofit, Digital Citizen Fund, and the impact the “Afghan Dreamers” are having in Afghanistan.

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.