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 by the founder of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), FIRST Global is a separate US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity that provides the framework for an olympics-style robotics challenge — the FIRST Global Challenge. FIRST Global invites one team from every nation to participate in the 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 be held in a different nation 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.
The FIRST Global Challenge is an annual robotics event that seeks to highlight the greatest challenges facing our planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering. Each year, a different Challenge will take center stage as the theme of that year’s FIRST Global Challenge, which will be held in a different nation each year.
The Global STEM Corps (GSC) is our 21st century answer to a world in need of an inspired generation of young adults ready to tackle global challenges. Through the GSC, grassroots 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 Global 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.
Leading universities around the world, including Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Yale University, and Technion, are among the founding members of the FIRST Global Higher Education Network (FGHEN). Participating institutions are partnered with their nation’s FIRST Global robotics team and provide them with technical mentoring (on the tasks associated with designing, building, and programming FIRST Global robots) and guidance to inspire the next generations of leaders in STEM.
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 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.
The founder of FIRST®, Dean sought to create an offshoot of the popular robotics programs that would focus on making science and technology available to youth all around the world. FIRST Global serves as an achievement youth can strive toward, with FIRST® providing support for countries to build up their STEM programs from the ground level.