It's Important to Support STEM All Year Round

Dec 06, 2017 By Jay Flores, Global STEM Ambassador, Rockwell Automation

It’s important to keep students challenged, especially during breaks from school. Equally as important is the atmosphere. Rule one: have fun. Jay Flores, global STEM ambassador for Rockwell Automation, explores interesting ways to keep kids involved in learning, even when school’s out. 


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FIRST connects students with valuable mentors

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Mashroor Rashid


FIRST Alum Mashroor Rashid is a 2015 Dean’s List Award Winner from FIRST Tech Challenge Team 2408, Shrapnel Sergeants, in Hazelwood, Missouri. He is grateful for the variety of mentors he’s gained through FIRST and plans to pay it forward to future generations.

What did you do after becoming a FIRST Alum?
Currently, I attend the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where I received a FIRST Scholarship, and study Computer Engineering

You’ve had mentors, or mentored others, through FIRST; what advice do you have to share with others?
I have been mentored by wonderful parents, teachers, and engineers. Each mentor brings different skills and trait to the table, and are able to pass their knowledge on with ease. I'm incredibly thankful for what they've taught me, as I can pass their teachings on to the next generation of FIRSTers.

What is the best piece of advice the you’ve received?
"When opportunity comes your way, grab it and run with it, as far as you can." and, "What you put in is what you get out." My coach told me these words after the 2015 FIRST Championship, in regard to college applications, robotics, and schoolwork. He would push us to work as hard as possible, because he knew that the team had potential to do well.

What is your favorite FIRST memory?
Winning the St. Louis Regional in 2013. I can remember talking to my teammates during the build season and saying, "Man, I just don't see us walking out of there." After alliance selections, we just kept winning matches, eventually coming to the finals. Being able to attend Championship as a freshman really opened my eyes up to how important teamwork and Gracious Professionalism is.

Visit for more FIRST Alumni spotlights. Share your story for a chance to be featured.

Investing in A Culture of Gratitude

Nov 22, 2017 By Mark Giordono, Vice President of Development, FIRST

This time of year, many of us pause to give thanks. At FIRST, we’re grateful to our tireless mentors, coaches, volunteers, alumni, sponsors, fundraisers and donors who support our mission wholeheartedly. They deserve to hear our thanks not just now, or at the end of the season, but all year round.

Event Housing

We’re streamlining the process for finding and booking hotel rooms for your FIRST® events. This housing information is available for FIRST® Robotics Competition teams, eventSuitcase graphic volunteers, FIRST invited guests, and spectators for both regional and for all for championship housing.

Choose the event region/state below to visit the FIRST Experient portal or your region's website. Experient has been exclusively contracted to work with FIRST to bring you the best in hotel availability, rates, security, and ease of booking.

Email Team Support at with questions.

























New Hampshire

New Jersey

  • MAR District - Mount Olive Event
  • MAR District - Bridgewater-Raritan Event 
  • MAR District - Montgomery Event
  • MAR District - Seneca Event

New Mexico
New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota





West Virginia





  • Shenzhen Regional
  • Shanghai Regional




To Hire STEM-Literate Graduates, Companies Must Help Develop Them

Oct 18, 2017 By Don Bossi, President, FIRST

The demand for qualified STEM talent is urgent; opportunities in STEM fields are expected to reach more than 2.7 million openings in 2020. And, in the not-so-distant future, all careers – whether they’re in engineering or marketing, blue-collar or white-collar – will require STEM skills and digital literacy.


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FIRST taught me how to work smart, like a startup

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Peyton Fitzgerald

FIRST Alum, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 5459 “Ipswich Tigers” and Recipient, Northeastern University’s NU-FIRST Scholarship

When I wrote an essay to apply for Northeastern University’s full-tuition NU-FIRST Scholarship, I found it difficult to convey what FIRST meant to me in just 500 words. FIRST not only taught me about engineering; it taught me how to learn. Right off the bat, I discovered the benefits of failing early and failing well.

I joined my school's new FIRST Robotics Competition team as a founding member my sophomore year. We worked like a startup, where everybody did a bit of everything. I ran the business side of things – social media and fundraising – but I was also involved with building the robot itself, which is how I discovered my passion for mechanical engineering. My senior year, I became captain.

Most things I've experienced in high school have been fairly laid out: You get a task, and as long as you work hard, it'll turn out fine. On a FIRST team, just like a startup, you can work as hard as you can in the wrong direction, and it won't work. You have to work smart. It serves a lot of inspiration for me to remember the moment at a FIRST competition event when our robot worked. After our robot failed at the previous event, we had spent six hours rebuilding it. When the robot did exactly what it was supposed to, it was the best feeling in the world.

FIRST is about more than the competitions. Some of my teammates and I took on a project with a small nonprofit called Ocean Alliance. Their scientists fly drones over whales and collect the sprayed mucus for DNA samples. They were having difficulty judging distances between the drone and the whale, so my team worked on a system that would relay an audio clip of the drone's height back to the driver.

Even before I picked a college, I was planning to mentor a local team. I want to give back to FIRST because of the impact it has made on my life. That became even more important after I received Northeastern’s NU-FIRST Scholarship, which will cover my full tuition for up to eight semesters, as long as I maintain a 3.0 GPA in the College of Engineering. This season, I am mentoring Team 125, “The NU-TRONs.” I think I'll be learning just as much as a mentor as I did as a student.

How One Act of Kindness Changed Me

Sep 20, 2017 By Rhodes Conover, FIRST Alumnus; Student, Florida Polytechnic University

We had failed. As other teams celebrated their victories, our robot sat motionless on the playing field; each cheer from the crowd felt like salt in our wounds.


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FIRST helps teachers discover more through STEM

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Maureen Reilly

FIRST LEGO League Coach

When Maureen Reilly, fourth-grade teacher at PS 261 in Brooklyn, NY, decided to co-lead a FIRST® LEGO® League team at her school, she had no idea what to expect. She wasn’t even sure she’d know what to teach. After all, she wasn’t “into” science or math and knew nothing about starting a robotics program. She did know one thing—a team would improve the situation. So she recruited the special education teacher and the technology teacher at her school. Neither knew anything about robotics either, but they all agreed, Maureen laughed, “to forgive ourselves for not knowing things.”

Despite being unsure at first, the FIRST robotics program remains one of Maureen’s best teaching experiences. After doing it themselves, Maureen and her fellow teachers believe anyone can start a robotics program at their school. On the FIRST Inspire blog, the teachers share six lessons learned when they pushed themselves and their students to discover more through STEM.

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.


FIRST® programs (K-12) support educators by engaging students in STEM learning and preparing them for the future through hands-on fun while cleverly helping kids transfer classroom concepts to real-world applications.

FIRST Programs Overview - Click to enlarge

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FIRST Programs are Relevant in Schools

FIRST Programs:

  • Ignite a passion for learning, both inside and outside the classroom by making it relevant and fun.
  • Excite students in STEM activities through robust robotics programs.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn classroom competencies through project-based challenges and student directed problem based learning.
  • Expose students to new interests.
  • Teach coding and the scientific method through hands-on projects.
  • Apply math and science to real-world problems.
  • Teach the engineering and design process through mechanical design and build.
  • Cultivate 21st century work-life skills.
  • Integrate innovative skill building and strategic thinking.
  • Encourage Gracious Professionalism®, a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
  • Create a community of collaborative problem-solvers.
  • Inspire students to be life-long learners.

Facilitate FIRST Programs and Achieve STEM Learning Objectives in Your Classroom

FIRST provides professional development to acquire or strengthen your facilitation skills for project-based learning curriculum and 21st century skills such as creativity, problem solving and teamwork in an active learning environment. FIRST Certified Professional Development is a two-day learning experience that provides you with all the tools you need to bring FIRST to your classroom or as an extracurricular activity. Click on the button below to learn more.

FIRST Professional Development

Interested in becoming a FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer?

Are you interested in supporting and inspiring teachers to develop their skills while learning to deliver FIRST programs? FIRST is looking for highly qualified, dynamic individuals to become FIRST Certified Teacher Trainers.


Impact Stats

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FIRST Programs Meet Standards

FIRST has completed an external analysis and mapping of all FIRST Programs to 3 sets of educational standards: Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. All FIRST programs cover over 90% of the Science and Engineering Practices and the Crosscutting Concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Implement FIRST Programs in your school

Whether you are implementing FIRST programs during the school day or after school, we provide many resources and curriculum to minimize the amount of preparation you must do as a coach.

  • FIRST LEGO League Jr.
    • A Team Meeting Guide is included with every team registration to walk a coach or teacher through every step of running a FIRST LEGO League Jr. team.
  • FIRST LEGO League provides two resources to help coaches manage their teams.
    • FIRST Steps is a step by step, meeting by meeting framework that allows coaches with no previous experience to lead a robotics team through a successful first season.
    • The Coaches’ Handbook is a guide to help coaches understand every aspect of the FIRST LEGO League season.
  • FIRST Tech Challenge
  • FIRST Robotics Competition provides steps for starting a team and a mentor manual to help coaches manage their teams.

FIRST in your Area

FIRST works through regional partners around the world to implement FIRST programs. Your area has a regional partner who would be happy to answer any questions you have about your local FIRST program. Find your regional partner here.

Once you experience a FIRST event you’ll be hooked! Locate a local competition and go see for yourself.


Engage your students in hands-on STEM education and help inspire the leaders of tomorrow.