FIRST ® Curriculum for Educators
FIRST® curriculum is developed using a project-based learning method. Students gain knowledge and skills by working towards goals through the investigation of solutions and engagement in a complex question or problem to solve. Content is designed to meet specific STEM learning objectives through connected learning principles. This allows FIRST content to be embedded or integrated to promote learning in a variety of context.
Providing relevant and real-world project-based learning opportunities can increase student interest and shifts the responsibility for learning gains to the student as they work to acquire the knowledge to solve the problem. Strong interest results in greater motivation to struggle through difficult concepts and, a growth mindset, as well as greater retention of content due to the connection of rigorous and relevant activities during learning. The connection to real world problems, career exploration and technical skill building prepares students for their future in the 21st Century workforce.
FIRST Class Pack
Designed using peer-reviewed education practices for 21st century learning, our FIRST Class Pack implementation options provide educators and communities with flexible, high-quality STEM learning experiences for their PreK-12 students in the classroom or structured after-school programs.
Class Pack curriculum is provided through printed material and the FIRST Thinkscape Portal, offering a variety of age-appropriate teaching resources for each program. Specific information about each Class Pack offering can be found here.
FIRST @ Home Curriculum
Whether in the classroom or at home learning, continue to engage students in STEM learning, skill development, and FUN with a 12 session learning series for teachers, parents, and coaches created by FIRST Education. These free and flexible PreK-12 STEM activities are available for download now.
Variations of student learning support for FIRST® LEGO® League divisions. From 10 hours to 80 hours, you'll find a corresponding list of sessions and additional FIRST® and LEGO® Education resources.
This curriculum is designed to fit many career and technical education programs as an intro to engineering design course, but it can be modified and implemented at many different levels.
The scope and sequence table lists minimum and maximum time limits for each unit and identifies their priority for students to be able to complete the semester and end-of-course activities.
FIRST has a unique position as a proven workforce development program—by giving students the competencies to succeed for decades. FIRST provides workforce development resources on badging and certifications, partnerships, and career awareness and preparation.
- Industry Certification Pathway and Micro-certifications: SMART Robotics Technician Micro-Certifications (issued through Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy), Siemens Solid Edge Mechanical Associate Pathway course (available to registered FIRST® Robotics Competition teams in Thinkscape), OnShape Certified Associate Pathway course (available to registered FIRST Tech Challenge/FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Thinkscape)
- Badging: FIRST Robotics badge on Tallo, FIRST Robotics Challenge –Student badge and FIRST-Alumni badge on Credly (Issued by Siemens Software), Certified Robotics – Associate badge on Credly (issued by Dassault Systèmes), Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals badge on Credly (issued by SME- Society of Manufacturing Engineers) roboRIO Robot Control badge, LabVIEW for FIRST Robotics Competition Programming Fundamentals Badge, LabVIEW For FIRST Robotics Competition RIO Programming badge on ProProfs (issued by NI)
- Career Awareness and Preparation: FIRST Tech Challenge Work-Based Learning Toolkit, FIRST Robotics Competition Work-Based Learning Toolkit, Career Planning Toolkit (available to registered FIRST Tech Challenge/FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Thinkscape)
- Partnerships: CTE Without Limits, Learn Everywhere, FIRST Supporters
The FIRST Technical Learning Progression PreK-12 Summary outlines the student learning that occurs when students participate in FIRST. Whether a student progresses through the various programs or experiences only one, these progressions demonstrate the age-appropriate outcomes, knowledge, and skills students learn as part of a FIRST program.
These learning progressions outline the differences in student learning outcomes by grade level and can be used to validate or assess that students demonstrate age-appropriate outcomes, knowledge, and skills.
FIRST content is aligned to the following:
- Common Core - Math & English Language Arts
- NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards
- CSTA – Computer Science Teachers Association
- ITEEA – International Technology Engineering Education Association
- ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education
- Partnership for 21st Century Learning
- CASEL – Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning
We have completed standards alignments to a limited number of US states and countries to specific subject areas. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if we have alignments available for your area.
See how FIRST content is aligned to each standard by expanding the menus below.
Archived Curriculum (from Schoology)
Module 1 - INTRODUCING CORE VALUES AND TEAMWORK SKILLS
In Week 1, you will introduce the FIRST LEGO League Core Values to your team.
Module 2 - RESEARCHING AND PROGRAMMING BASICS
In Week 2 the team will begin the design process for both the Innovation Project and the Robot Game. They will explore and research the Project and learn how to make the robot perform basic functions with introductory programming concepts.
Module 3 - NARROWING THE PROBLEM AND DESIGNING THE ROBOT
In Week 3 the team will brainstorm a list of problems related to the Challenge theme they might want to explore for their Innovation Project. They will narrow this list and begin researching the problems. The team will also plan how they will solve the Robot Game missions and design any attachments or changes that need to be made to the robot.
Module 4 - IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM AND BUILDING ATTACHMENTS
In Week 4 the team will narrow down the problems they have explored to a single problem they will research further and design a solution to. The team will design and build attachments to help the robot complete the game missions.
Module 5 - SELECTING A PROBLEM AND PROGRAMMING MISSIONS
In Week 5 the team will select a specific solution related to their chosen problem and continue to program the robot missions.
Module 6 - CREATING THE PRESENTATION AND REFINING THE ROBOT
In Week 6 the team will begin creating the presentation they will give to the judges at competition. Teams will continue to refine the programming of the robot.
Module 7 - PRESENTATION PRACTICE AND ROBOT JUDGING PREPARATION
In Week 7 the team will finalize and practice their Innovation Project presentation, and decide who they want to share their solution with. They will also continue improving the robot, and practice talking about their Robot Design process in preparation for the Robot Judging session.
Module 8 - PREPARING FOR THE TOURNAMENT
In Week 8 the team will prepare for the tournament by reviewing the rubrics, making packing lists, practicing all three judging sessions (Core Values, Innovation Project, and Robot Design), and practicing their robot runs.
Unit 0 - PREPARING FOR SCHOOL
This unit is to help the teacher prepare for the school year by becoming familiar with the curriculum, equipment, and requirements of running a FIRST Tech Challenge team in the classroom.
Unit 1 - SAFETY
Building a robot requires a lot of parts, electronics, and tools. In this unit, students will learn about and demonstrate workshop safety, as well as develop rules for conduct and tool use in the workshop.
Unit 2 - INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTICS
This unit will walk students through creating the basic pieces of a robot to familiarize them with the various parts and processes. They will not be told exactly how to build the parts, but tutorials will be provided at each step to provide guidance. Then they will move on to design and implement their own robot in the following units.
Unit 3 - FIRST TECH CHALLENGE GAME
In this unit the students will research and learn about the FIRST Tech Challenge game and begin the early stages of the design process with preliminary planning and strategizing.
Unit 4 - INITIAL DESIGN
In this unit, students will begin the design process. You will introduce the design process with a short activity, and then the students will go through the first three steps of designing their robot: identifying the problem/requirements, brainstorming, and planning.
Unit 5 - BUILDING & PROGRAMMING
In this unit, students will begin building and programming the robot designed in the previous units. They will implement the rest of the design process (prototype, test, redesign), and through this process will learn about working with hardware, electronics, and programming. They will build and program the robot and then test it to see where it fails. Then they will go back to the drawing board to design and implement improvements.
Unit 6 - REFLECTION & IMPROVEMENT
In this unit, students will complete a process to reflect on and evaluate their accomplishments with the FIRST Tech Challenge Game. They will identify a clear, demonstrable goal for improvement on one aspect of robot or team performance and develop a plan to execute and test the improvement for impact. Upon completion of this process, students will use the criteria they have outlined to evaluate their success. They will then develop a short Performance Impact presentation to share their experience with another team, class, parent group, sponsor, or other interested group community member.
Unit 7 - SKILL BUILDING
This unit will focus on the development of one or two new or interesting skills for individual students or groups within a team. Students will select one or more mini-challenge scenarios to be completed or adapted as an independent project (with support from team/classmates, teachers/mentors, and FIRST-vetted resources), and then present evidence of their new skill development to classmates in peer-to-peer presentations or a small group mentoring session.
Unit 8 - OUTREACH & COMMUNITY BUILDING
In this unit, students will create an effective demonstration or interactive experience to implement in the wider community. Students will identify a target audience or event in the local area and plan for a demonstration about their robot and their team.
Unit 9 - NEW GAME
In this unit, students will think critically about their experience with previous units and apply the skills they’ve developed to create an original FIRST Tech Challenge Game. They will use a thematic scenario as the inspiration for original game design and incorporate elements from previous challenges into the game play, using commonly available materials from around the school or classroom.