FIRST FAQ Jan. 24 2018| 0 KB

Content Type:

Frequently asked questions about FIRST.

Materials Master Guide Jan. 24 2018| 0 KB

Content Type:

The Materials Master Guide explains what you'll need to start your FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. season. 

FIRST® Certified Professional Development and FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer


FIRST Certified Professional Development

For over 25 years, FIRST has been inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The FIRST Certified Professional Development program is dedicated to helping teachers get the most out of FIRST programs and the accompanying educational resources.

FIRST provides professional development for teachers to acquire or strengthen their 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 will provide teachers with all the tools they need to bring one of the FIRST programs to their classroom or as an extracurricular activity. These professional development programs are led by FIRST Certified Teacher Trainers.

FIRST Certified Professional Development is available for FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge and can be offered on site at your location or at one of our centrally located options. If you are interested in bringing FIRST Certified Professional Development to your school or attending one of our regional options, please contact us for more information.

Get Started

FIRST Certified Teacher Trainers

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.

FIRST Certified Teacher Trainers participate in a 3-day Certification Training in Manchester, NH. These trainings are generally held in the summer. FIRST offers training courses for potential trainers for FIRST LEGO League Jr, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge. Potential trainers may qualify and choose to train for multiple programs. All training courses are free of cost and travel, lodging and reasonable expenses associated with participation will be reimbursed by FIRST.

Upon successful completion of the training, you will be provided with high quality training materials that have been tested and are ready to use. You will become a part of the FIRST Teacher Trainer network where you will connect with other trainers and FIRST staff to continually improve your training skills and share ideas. You will be compensated competitively and expenses covered for any professional development that you provide as a FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer

FIRST Certified Teacher Trainers are not training new coaches but are training teachers to bring FIRST programs into the school setting. To become a FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer, you need to meet the requirements and criteria listed below.

Trainer Requirements:

  • Experience as a coach or mentor of a FIRST team. To become a trainer for FIRST LEGO League Jr. or FIRST LEGO League, an applicant must have experience with at least one of these programs but not both. To become a trainer for FIRST Tech Challenge, an applicant must have experience with FIRST Tech Challenge.
  • K-12 teaching experience at the appropriate grade level(s) associated with the program(s) you want to be certified for. Applicants should have teaching experience at the elementary and/or middle school level to be considered for FIRST LEGO League Jr. or FIRST LEGO League. An applicant should have teaching experience at the middle and/or high school level to be considered for FIRST Tech Challenge.
  • Extensive knowledge of the K-12 educational sector;
  • Ability to navigate within the many areas and requirements teachers face daily; and
  • understand and communicate fluently in English, as all training and training materials are in English.

Certification Process and Content

  1. Application-Complete all steps of the application process to be considered for the FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer program.
  1. Confirm that you meet the prerequisites listed above.
  2. Email the FIRST Education team at to determine if we are currently hiring trainers in your area.
  3. Complete the FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer application form (form will be sent after initial inquiry) and send a one-minute introduction video to .
  4. If you are selected, information will be sent to you regarding the training process.
  1. Pre-Training-Participate actively in all assigned pre-training activities which can include any of the following.
  1. create required accounts to access resources
  2. prepare a short introduction of yourself
  3. participate actively in online discussions
  4. participate in online pre-training sessions
  5. read any materials provided
  1. On-Site Training-Participate in 3 days of face-to-face training which will include:
  1. know and practice the FIRST Education Philosophy
  2. know and practice the fundamentals of the program(s) for which you are being certified
  3. understand best practices in project based learning and team management
  4. familiarize yourself with the FIRST Certified Teacher training materials
  5. understand your role as a FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer
  6. understand basic principles of adult learning
  7. practice facilitation skills
  8. run your own workshop followed by evaluation
  1. Post Training-After face-to-face training, there are additional tasks that must be completed to earn FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer status and to remain a Trainer in good standing.

To complete the training program, you will

  1. send a one-hour long uncut video of a FIRST Certified training session or be observed by designated representative of the FIRST Education team
  2. participate in online coaching sessions
  3. submit a reflection or review of the training

To remain in good standing, you will

  1. attend or review online meetings or webinars
  2. review new training materials or program updates as they are released
  3. continue to develop your training and facilitation skills and deepen your program knowledge
  4. participate in FIRST Certified Teacher Trainer gathering in person held once every other year

Develop Ethics Canons before the Crisis

Jan 18, 2018 Written by Liz Calef, FRC Team 88 Mentor & Woodie Flowers Award Winner

Scholarship Provider: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Jan 15, 2018 Written by FIRST Scholarship Provider, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

As a WPI student, you will do much more than study robots – you will build them, interact with them, explore their design and function, and push them to their limits.


Team Avatar Submission System

Jan 15, 2018 Written by Danny Diaz, FIRST Robotics Competition Systems Engineer

As announced in a previous blog postFIRST Robotics Competition teams will be allowed to create and submit Team Avatars that will be used to represent their teams during the FIRST POWER UP season. Today we're proud to announce that the Team Avatar submission system is now open! 

FIRST Case Studies Jan. 12 2018| 0 KB

Content Type:

Featured case studies provide an in-depth look at the impact of the FIRST® experience, from the transformative effect on students, schools, and communities to the development and inspiration of the next generation of innovators and leaders, and more.

Impact Case Studies

FIRST, Cisco Systems  Bring Innovative Learning to 12 Arizona Schools
Cisco Systems helped create 20 new FIRST LEGO League teams for more than 120 students in grades 4-8 – enabling them to create innovative solutions to challenges facing todays scientists while developing career and life skills, and becoming more involved in their community.
Collateral Code: FI007

Qualcomm, FIRST Partner to Foster Future Innovators
As a FIRST Strategic Partner, Qualcomm is laying the groundwork for the next generation of innovators by supporting K-12 STEM education and inspiring greater diversity in the STEM workforce.
Collateral Code: FI009

Filling the STEM Gap in Michigan
FIRST in Michigan runs one of the oldest and largest robotics organizations in the United States, building on a historic collaboration between FIRST, the State of Michigan, the auto industry, the Michigan school systems, and the students and volunteers who make it thrive.
Collateral Code: FI041

Innovation Case Study

Entrepreneur Discovers You’re Never Too Young to Make a Difference
At an age when most young people are just beginning to explore their own identity, FIRST Alum TJ Evarts invented the SMARTwheel, a product designed to alleviate one of the nation’s leading traffic problems: teens who text and drive.
Collateral Code: FI004

Transformation Case Studies

A New Type of School Teaches Skills for the Future
Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College, an innovative, dual-enrollment high school created in 2014 based on FIRST ethos, together with Grizzly Robotics, its robust after-school FIRST program, is enabling students to succeed and seeing dramatic improvements to attendance, graduation, and suspension rates, as well as state test scores.
Collateral Code: FI042

Bringing Engineering Opportunities to Title I Schools
Lawrence High School, part of a largely Hispanic, Title I urban school district in Massachusetts, aims to provide students with high-quality enrichment opportunities comparable to those available to their suburban peers. With opportunities for hands-on STEM engagement, FIRST fits that bill.
Collateral Code: FI039

FIRST Experience Turns Challenges to Opportunities for LA Teen
A homeless teen from an impoverished LA neighborhood turned to FIRST for more than his educational needs. FIRST answered Yohance Salimu basic survival needs when team Mentors offered him a place to stay, food to eat, and, ultimately, the motivation to pursue a successful career in the Air Force.
Collateral Code: FI017

FIRST Boosts Graduation and College Enrollment Rates and Builds Confidence in Pacific Northwest
Interested in encouraging STEM participation among students in a small, rural town located in the northeast corner of Oregon, Superintendent Heidi Sipe created Umatilla's FIRST Robotics Competition team, which now boasts a 100 percent high school graduation rate and has led to the creation of a free K-12 after-school STEM program. 
Collateral Code:  FI010

How to Encourage STEM to Students in Communities Where There Are No STEM Jobs 
Central Missouri's rural Camdenton school district has fully adopted the FIRST Progression of Programs for K-2. One of every 14 students in the district is involved at some level, with students at all levels preparing for the job of the future and building "soft skills" such as teamwork and public speaking. 
Collateral Code:  FI019

FIRST Helps Student Find a Road to Success
Evan Rotter was not a strong or motivated student, but he loved mechanics. After joining his Wisconsin high school's FIRST team, he gained the motivation to improve his grades and make a post-graduation plan. Evan enrolled in technical college to become an automotive technician. 
Collateral Code:  FI026

STEM Equity Case Study

Grant Funding Supports STEM Engagement at Detroit Youth Recreation Center
To fill a critical gap left by the struggling Detroit public school system, the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center sought high-quality, mentor-driven STEM programs to excite and engage local students at its afterschool tutoring and recreation center. With funding from a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant and support from the greater Detroit FIRST community, S.A.Y. (Sports. Academics. Youth.) Play added a robotics room, formed FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams, and hosted a tournament in its first year.
Collateral Code: FI043