FIRST Prepares Youth for Life & Work
Engaging in the FIRST Robotics programs are changing students’ lives for the better through inclusion and community-building. Students learn from each other by sharing ideas and forming long-lasting relationships far beyond high school. In fact, many of our alumni return as team mentors, coaches and volunteers.
Evidence from the ongoing FIRST Longitudinal Study, conducted via a multi-year partnership with Brandeis University, demonstrates that FIRST is meeting their mission and goals to increase the number of young people interested in STEM—and FIRST alums' interest extends beyond their participation in the program to their educational and career choices. Positive impacts are evident for all FIRST students regardless of race, gender, income, or community type.
Skills Gained By Students:
FIRST prepares students for a STEM future
Sustained attitudes and interest in STEM
Positive impacts on STEM-related attitudes and interests are evident six years after entering a FIRST program. Those impacts are consistent regardless of race, gender, income or community type and persist into college. FIRST students are significantly more likely to show gains in STEM outcomes than comparison students:
Persistence in STEM
FIRST alumni are significantly more likely to pursue college pathways into computer science and engineering than comparison students. Among the FIRST alumni in the study who had declared a major by the end of year 3 in college, most had chosen a STEM field and the majority selected engineering or computer science:
Sustained STEM career paths for FIRST alumni
FIRST alumni continue to show significant sustained impacts related to STEM interest and career pathways. In most cases, those gains for female FIRST alumni were significantly larger than those for male FIRST alumni. FIRST alumni declare majors in STEM at great rates than their comparison groups:
The opportunities for intentional expansion of the FIRST continuum of programs across school districts and community organizations in New England are endless with a proactive and dedicated school engagement plan in place. Collaboration with community-based youth-serving organizations is critical to successfully reach underserved youth with FIRST programs. FIRST mentors and coaches who understand the students they serve and have access to resources for the team are better positioned to build strong teams.
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New England FIRST
Please reach out to us if you would like more information about this inspiring and life-changing program for students, teachers, mentors, coaches and volunteers.