About FIRST Global
FIRST Global organizes a yearly international robotics challenge to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among the more than two billion youths across the world.
Established as a US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity to provide the framework for an “Olympics”-style robotics challenge, FIRST Global invites one team from every nation to participate in an international robotics event that builds bridges between high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs.
By bringing these future STEM leaders together in an engaging and collaborative competition that drives home the importance, excitement, and applicability of STEM education, FIRST Global inspires students to learn the skills they will need to make the discoveries their parents and grandparents would consider miracles, impossibilities, or just plain science fiction.
FIRST Global also strives to convince the various national governments and organizations of the world to embrace STEM education, and to support it by investing in their young adults that will soon begin to make their marks in the world.
The mission of FIRST Global is to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all nations in order to increase understanding, impress the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues, and improve quality of life for all.
This mission is accomplished through the FIRST Global Challenge that culminates with an international robotics game, which will rotate annually among different nation’s capitals each year.
By showing the youth of the world that if they learn how to communicate, cooperate, and work together using the tools of science and engineering to find solutions to the world’s grand challenges – water, energy, security, medicine, food, and education – they will learn how to work with each other, trust each other, and become part of a truly global community.
FIRST Global Programs
The FIRST Global Challenge is an annual robotics game that address’ the 14 Grand Challenges identified by the United States of America’s National Academy of Engineering. Each year, a different Grand Challenge will take center stage as the theme of that year’s FIRST Global game, which will be held in a different nation’s capital each year. To underscore the global importance of the 14 Grand Challenges, the engineering academies will host their annual meeting in collaboration with the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, DC this July.
The Global STEM Corps (GSC) is FIRST Global’s 21st century answer to a world in need of an inspired generation of young adults ready to tackle global challenges. Through GSC, grassroot volunteers work to motivate students across the globe to pursue fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding lives through STEM education by mentoring them for an “olympics”-style robotics event. These community-based volunteers range from civic minded high school and college students, to entire university robotics and engineering departments. The STEM Corps brings the universal elements of science, cooperation, and competition to the world stage by connecting mentors and FIRST Global competitors online and over the phone – making it possible to stay in touch anytime, anywhere.
Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as an inventor and an advocate are intertwined with his passion for practical, real world uses of technology, and his personal determination to spread excitement for and the virtues of STEM to the more than two billion youths around the world. Dean’s drive comes from his firm belief that the tools of science and engineering will help equip the world’s youth to solve the most pressing global challenges we face as a planet, both today and tomorrow.
Joe Sestak is a former Admiral and Congressman who commanded an aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, served as President Clinton’s Director of Defense Policy in the White House, and headed the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit during his 31 years of naval service. Retiring when his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer, Joe entered politics upon her recovery to fight for everyone to have the healthcare that saved her life. After leaving Congress, Joe taught at various universities while working for nonprofits focused on refugees, disaster response, education, and foreign policy.