“As a founding sponsor and active participant in many FIRST events over the years, I know the FIRST experience is about as real as it gets. FIRST not only gives young men and women a glimpse into the world of solving complex problems, managing projects and being engineers, but also nurtures their competitive spirit within a fun and collegial atmosphere. It exemplifies the ethos of the Xerox culture of innovation and collaboration. That’s why we support FIRST and do all that we can to expand its reach.”
-- Ursula M. Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox
Impacting approximately 400,000 youth worldwide in 2014-15, FIRST programs lead to positive outcomes for youth in K-12. Ten years of external and internal evaluation data indicates that as a result of participating in FIRST, team members are more interested in doing better in school (87%), more interested in attending college (89%) and plan to take more challenging math or science courses (87%); over 90% have improved 21st century work-life skills such as problem solving, time management and conflict resolution skill. FIRST graduates are twice as likely as a national comparison group to major in a STEM career with 33% of female participants and 41% of males majoring in engineering.
FIRST provides a complete STEM pipeline for youth K-12 though out-of-school robotics programs and challenges. FIRST programs provide a fun and engaging STEM experience while providing opportunities to develop 21st century work-life skills such as teamwork, problem solving, conflict resolution, persistence, time management, presentation skills, leadership and self-confidence, preparing them to work in a STEM career. FIRST complements the learning that occurs during the school day and fills in the gaps of STEM education in general.
There are many ways to provide financial support and volunteerism to FIRST.
A generous and extensive network of Fortune 500 corporations, educational and professional institutions, foundations, and individuals support FIRST. Together, these organizations and individuals provide significant funding, mentorship time and talent, Volunteers, equipment, and more to insure that FIRST participants receive the best experience possible.
FIRST Strategic Partners include: 3M, BAE Systems, Bechtel, Boeing, DEKA, Dow, FedEx, GM, Google, jcp, NASA, National Instruments, PTC, Qualcomm, Rockwell Automation, Rockwell Collins, Time Warner Cable, United Technologies.
FIRST Founding Sponsors include: Baxter, Boston Scientific, The Chrysler Foundation, FDEKA, Delphi, GM, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola Solutions Foundation and Xerox.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.