FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

More Than

Sep 27, 2022 Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Sr. Program Manager




On September 26, FIRST® announced the launch of More Than, a campaign to dismantle labels for kids and promote self-esteem through STEM.

Kids are often made to feel, sometimes unintentionally, that they aren’t good enough or the “right kind of kid” for a certain school subject or afterschool activity. In fact, our very own CEO Chris Moore experienced this very thing:

“As a child, I was discouraged from pursuing STEM fields by a teacher, and this mislabeling caused me to doubt myself and in turn, sacrifice my own potential. Parents and educators should not underestimate their power over a young person’s decisions and self-worth. We must provide students the opportunity to discover their passions and explore activities outside of their ‘box’ to help them and others see themselves as ‘More Than’ they are today.” –Chris Moore, CEO, FIRST

We talked to kids, experts, and parents all over the United States to learn about what the current barriers to success were. What we heard the most was that many kids learn to doubt themselves because of the fear of judgment or lack of acceptance.

We at FIRST want EVERY kid to believe in themselves and know that they are More Than the stereotypes or “boxes” society has placed them in. As a FIRST alum, I know firsthand how encouragement and support from mentors, teammates, and volunteers helps FIRST participants pursue paths they never dreamed possible before they joined their team. We want to make sure every kid knows those dreams are possible.

A recent survey from Allison+Partners found that, when it comes to STEM extracurriculars, 29% of kids don’t feel smart enough to join a STEM-related program. This comes despite 54% of students stating they did or would want to join a STEM or robotics extracurricular to learn a new skill. More needs to be done to help students acquire asset-based, resilient and growth mindsets and reinforce kindness, compassion, respect and trust. Adults can play an active role by focusing on allyship and helping students uncover their true talents and passions. In fact, 77% of kids aged 13-18 say they would turn to a parent, teacher, or school counselor for advice if they were considering joining an extracurricular activity. As FIRST community members, you can – and do – inspire kids to build the self-esteem and innovative spirit to build a strong future for themselves and the world.

Check out our PSA video and share the More Than movement with your team and community. View our social media toolkit for graphics, videos, and sample social posts to help spread the word – that students are ”More Than” the societal boxes designated to them.


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