Plus, announcing out 2024 Inspire the Future Cohort and a Championship recap
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We Appreciate You, Teachers!

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and we're celebrating all the incredible educators who encourage their students to make waves and build a better future for themselves and their communities.   

Teachers are a vital part of the FIRST® community. They work in the classroom and afterschool to mentor and coach teams, help organize and volunteer for FIRST events in their schools and communities, and advocate for FIRST programs in their districts. 

We could not advance the mission of FIRST without FIRST educators’ critical contributions. 

Be sure to join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, for more #TeacherAppreciationWeek content using #FIRSTEducators and #InspireTheFuture. 

Introducing the 2024 Inspire the Future: FIRST® Recognition Program Cohort

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we are proud to announce our 15 educator and 10 school honorees as we welcome them into the 2024 Inspire the Future: FIRST Recognition Program cohort

Selected from nominations made by the global FIRST community, these outstanding PreK-12 FIRST educators and schools engage students in STEM through classroom or afterschool activities and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to expanding access to FIRST programs. 

Congratulations to these deserving educators and schools!  

Check out the 2024 Inspire the Future: FIRST Recognition Program Cohort >> 

2024 FIRST Championship presented by BAE Systems

Last month, approximately 50,000 people gathered to celebrate youth robotics teams from 58 countries at the 2024 FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, which included special guests like Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and prolific inventor, and other global leaders in business and innovation including former NASA engineer turned YouTube celebrity Mark Rober.  

1,015 student robotics teams competed and exhibited across FIRST programs, and many FIRST® LEGO® League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, creativity, and teamwork.

“Every year, FIRST Championship gets bigger and better, but one thing remains the same: it’s a remarkable and life-changing experience for students of all ages,” said Chris Moore, CEO of FIRST. “Not to mention, the competition is as fun, thrilling, and heart-pounding as any other sporting event – but our sport is the only one where every kid on every team can go pro.”

Read more about the 2024 FIRST Championship >>

Matching Gifts for Volunteers and Donors

FIRST thrives because of the investments of time and treasure from YOU, our mentors, volunteers, and donors. Did you also know that many employers will match your volunteer hours and/or cash donations with cash contributions to FIRST?

As our season wraps, you can double your impact! Use this free lookup tool to see which employers have matching gift programs and how you can apply for matching funds. 

Check to see how you can match funds >>

#PeopleofSTEAM: Meet Kenny

Kenny is the director of STEAM Innovation at The Avery Coonley School and is a FIRST alum from FIRST Tech Challenge Team 8728 “Bionic Wolves.” He works with students, families and teachers to elevate STEAM in classrooms by designing and creating “teacher gadgets” and “educational enhancers” to give students the best in-classroom experience. Kenny’s goal is to help students work on projects that make a positive impact in the world.  

When asked about the potential for youth to make an impact, he said: “Don't ignore how powerful young people can be. Even though they might be younger, they have great energy, ideas, and passion. Their fresh perspectives can bring new and exciting changes to the world.” 

Learn more about Kenny and how he is inspiring students through STEAM >>

2024 Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant Recipient: Videet Mehta

The Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant seeks to further the legacy of Dr. Woodie Flowers, a gifted professor who championed and implemented a hands-on learning philosophy that reshaped engineering and design education, who also collaborated with FIRST Founder Dean Kamen to develop FIRST Robotics Competition. 

Check out the FIRST Community Blog to read more on the 2024 Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant Recipient, Videet Mehta.  

Read to learn more about Videet and his plans for his future >>
OUR VISION: “ transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”
— Dean Kamen, Founder