FIRST Global is a US-based 501©(3) not-for-profit public charity established by the founder of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), Dean Kamen. OUR MISSION is to inspire leadership and innovation in youth from all nations by empowering them through education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — also known as STEM.
By nurturing cross-cultural communication and cooperation among high-school students around the world through STEM, we empower them to collectively tackle the world’s most pressing challenges and come up with solutions that improve quality of life for all. The FIRST Global Challenge is our mechanism for doing so. 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 is using robots to build kids that have the self-confidence, skill sets, imagination, courage, and vision to do important things.
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 who will soon begin to make their marks in the world.
youth in the tools of science, technology, engineering, and math.
them to innovate solutions to tackle global challenges.
students worldwide to cooperate and learn from each other.
the next generation of global leaders.
The FIRST Global Challenge is an olympics-style, international robotics competition that takes place in a different country each year. FIRST Global invites each nation to send a team to build and program a robot to compete. Teams work together to complete tasks in a game themed around one of the greatest challenges facing our planet in an effort to foster understanding and cooperation among the youth of the world as they use their abilities to solve the world’s problems.
The FIRST Global ‘Global STEM Corps’ (GSC) connects grassroots volunteers with FIRST Global teams in order to work to motivate students across the globe to pursue fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding lives through STEM education by mentoring them for the FIRST Global Challenge. These community-based volunteers range from civic-minded high school and college students, to entire university robotics and engineering departments.
Leading universities around the world 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 and guidance in becoming leaders in STEM.
—Dean Kamen, FIRST Global Founder
The founder of FIRST Global, Dean Kamen, is a prolific inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. After founding FIRST® back in 1989, Dean saw the immediate impact it had on kids from all backgrounds. Seeing how the organization was able to reach around 80 countries after more than 20 years, Dean knew that the teamwork, Coopertition®, Gracious Professionalism®, and inspiration needed to go further faster.
In an effort to expand the work of FIRST®, Dean created FIRST Global with the focus on planting a seed in every country to make science and technology available to youth everywhere. The idea was to have one team from each nation participate and focus the world on the amazing things that happen when you bring together kids from every country to celebrate the use of STEM to solve the common problems the globe faces. Dean’s vision came to life with the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge in 2017. Serving as the Olympics that youth strive for, FIRST Global inspires initial development at the ground level, with FIRST® providing support for countries to build a nationwide program.