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.

Small but mighty: Teacher won’t let STEM struggles become a cautionary tale

Jun 14, 2016 By Naomi Edwards, Educator, Kettle Falls High School, Washington


It was robot inspection time at our first FIRST® Robotics Competition event of the season in Spokane, Washington. Our rookie team just traveled 100 miles from our small logging town of Kettle Falls, Washington, and were stumbling into the field house dragging totes and a clunky robot.

Holistic education

Jun 10, 2016 An educators’ advice for providing young minds with the skills they need to thrive in the modern world


Recently, I was in a faculty meeting, and we had an exercise to brainstorm qualities with which we want to imbue our students. The list included: able to solve problems, ease of teamwork, enthusiasm for learning, compassionate, innovative, curious, creative, fluent in critical thinking, etc.

Inspired by: Seymour Papert

Jun 03, 2016

Seymour Papert is a mathematician and computer scientist best known for his contributions to the understanding of children’s learning processes and to the ways in which technology can support learning.

Make, create, express ...

May 26, 2016

According to TIME, there are more than 135 million makers in America who pump over $29 million into the economy each year. And these figures don’t even account for people under 18 years old. At FIRST, we know there are plenty. As we look to the future, it is increasingly important to empower the next generation of artisans, craftsman, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who will help solve the world’s greatest challenges.

Teacher shows students success through teamwork; inspires community through achievement

May 20, 2016

Mehulkumar Gandhi, a math teacher at San Luis Middle School (SLMS) since 2009, had no experience as a coach. But when his principal, Rafael Sanchez, encouraged him to start a FIRST® LEGO® League team at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, Gandhi jumped right in.

When it comes to in-school technology, leave brand loyalty at the door

May 11, 2016 by Urvi Shah, Director of Educational Technology and Innovation, Independent Girls School, Maryland


Prepare students for the real-world by implementing a device agnostic technology program. Most 1:1 device programs at schools marry themselves to the idea of buying all their devices as one brand.

Teacher to teacher: 5 Ways to Encourage Classroom Creativity

May 05, 2016

This season, 13 million hours of service were completed by FIRST Volunteers – many of whom are educators who act as Coaches, Mentors and more. So not surprisingly, at FIRST, we consider every week teacher’s week. But in honor of National Teacher’s Week, we offer some advice from one of our favorite educators, Krissy Venosdale.

Said no student ever.

Apr 19, 2016 by Mark Greenlaw, VP, FIRST


This past week, I gave a keynote speech at STEMCON, a conference for STEM educators in Cleveland, Ohio. My talk was titled “The Innovators of Tomorrow: Developing our next generation of innovators equipped to solve the world’s most pressing problems”.

Building a Culture of Inquiry from the Ground Up

Apr 05, 2016 By Urvi Shah, Director of Educational Technology and Innovation, Independent Girls School, Maryland

How do we encourage innovation and innovative thinking in the classroom? Warren Berger’s book, A More Beautiful Question, explains that innovation is defining a problem and borrowing ideas/inspiration from what’s already been done in order to create new combinations of thoughts and ideas to address that problem.

The Best Device in the Classroom

Mar 29, 2016 by Krissy Venosdale, Innovation Coordinator, The Kinkaid School

Our world is filled with technology and our students are growing up with access to information on a 24 hour a day, seven day a week basis. They can find an app to identify a leaf, listen to a podcast, or even watch a live video of history happening. They can text, take selfies, and find sports scores in split seconds.