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FIRST® is the world’s leading child-serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). For more than 30 years, FIRST has evolved into a global movement by engaging millions of people with a proven game-changer for preparing kids to solve the world’s greatest problems. FIRST programs inspire innovation and leadership through engaging, hands-on robotics challenges developed to ignite curiosity and passion in students in grades K-12. FIRST builds powerful mentorship relationships between young people and STEM professionals, helping kids gain confidence to explore the innovation process while they learn valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. FIRST creates the people who will change the world – today and tomorrow.

FIRST inspires a lifelong love of learning that is critical to perseverance in an ever-changing workforce. Using robotics competitions as the vehicle, FIRST is developing future innovators, technology leaders, and creative problem solvers. Building self-confidence, as well as STEM and digital literacy skills, is required in today’s technology-rich society. STEM competence and confidence creates pathways to well-paying jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the fastest-growing fields, creating the potential for young people to achieve purposeful and prosperous lives.

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FIRST® CORE VALUES

We express the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® through our Core Values:
  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.