FIRST in Texas continues to positively impact students throughout the state, and we’re excited to move into another year of FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition for students in grades PreK-12. Students in 245 school districts are getting the opportunity to learn more about STEM careers and build their confidence in math, science, and technology. Looking back over the last 10 years of this program, we’ve seen 500 percent team growth, a testament to the power—and fun—of FIRST programs.
This is all because of our incredible sponsors, volunteers, and community supporters. Thanks to you, students from all backgrounds are getting the opportunity to explore new career paths and connect with industry leaders who can mentor them, help them get to college, and perhaps eventually offer them their first internship or job in a STEM field. Thank you! This wouldn’t be possible without you.
Supporting FIRST in Texas—whether with a financial donation, your time, or the use of your facility—is an investment in our students and our state. You’re supporting the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators who will lead us into the future.
About 78 percent of FIRST alumni are active in STEM careers, either as students or professionals, and 43 percent of alumni are paying it forward by remaining active in the program as mentors, coaches, or volunteers.
Even participants who don’t ultimately pursue stem careers show greater interest in doing well in school and a willingness to tackle tough math and science courses. They also acquire transferable skills, like time management, problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork, leadership, communication, and more, that will serve them in all areas of life.
“Being part of FIRST was a blessing. It helped all of us grow in ways we did not know were possible, from improving our communication to enhancing our creativity. It led us to explore STEM and to want to share it with the community. FIRST meant that we were a family, not only as a team but as an organization and that we were a part of something bigger than us.” —Total Re-Paw (FTC Team 12710)
Many of these students come from underrepresented groups or low income families—about 35 percent of participants are in the free or reduced school lunch program. FIRST in Texas gives them a path toward college and a career they might otherwise not have believed possible.
FIRST events are community events, bringing together students, teachers, STEM professionals, and passionate community volunteers. It’s a way to connect with each other as we support the future of innovation.
“We as a society need to understand that every career, every job, the world is becoming a STEM world. Science Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are really driving our new economies that are driving the way we interact with each other. And so it takes a village. It takes the entire community, public sector, private sector, civic education, civic leaders, and educational institutions to come together to recognize that and provide the support across industries, across sectors to help generate that kind of momentum and support for the younger generation.” — Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, Texas
STEM education can help break the cycle of poverty by inspiring an interest in science and technology and opening the door to a wide range of high-paying jobs. Of 100 top STEM careers, 93 of them have average incomes above (and often far above) the national average. The average annual salary in a STEM career is about double the national average.
The future of our state rests in the hands of our young people. Whether they ultimately pursue STEM careers or not, they’ll use the leadership skills and confidence they built in FIRST to take Texas forward.
#GivingTuesday is coming up on December 1, and we hope you’ll consider investing in our students, our communities, and our state by giving to FIRST in Texas!
This is the second in a FIRST in Texas Impact series in advance of Giving Tuesday on December 1, 2020. Contact us to find out how you can be a game changer in the lives of STEM-inspired students across Texas.