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.

INSPIRATION IS EVERWHERE

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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.

INSPIRATION IS EVERWHERE

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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 Brand and Logo Files Feb. 3 2017| 0 KB

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To protect valuable FIRST assets and help build and maintain a strong and consistent visual identity for FIRST, please adhere to:

FIRST Branding & Design Standards

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FIRST logo

FIRST_Vertical_RGB.jpg

first-logo-all-formats.zip
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FIRST Robotics Competition logo

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FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition (formerly also known as FRC®), FIRST® Tech Challenge (formerly also known as FTC®) are trademarks of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League (formerly also known as FLL®), and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. (formerly known as Junior FIRST® LEGO® League and Jr.FLL®),  are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and the LEGO Group. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016 FIRST. All rights reserved. 

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