Build the Future Spotlight: Team 4-H Exploding Bacon

Encouraging Young Girls to Pursue STEM Through #FIRSTlikeagirl

Program: FIRST Robotics Competition
Location: Florida, United States

Over the last five years, our team has volunteered over 4,000 hours to be a force for change. Our mission is to fuel the next generation’s passion for STEM and inspire all individuals to become innovators that make a difference – not just close to home, but around the world. 

#FIRSTLikeAGirl is a social media campaign we started in 2016 that encourages young girls to overcome cultural pressures, expand their horizons and follow their dreams in STEM. We started a YouTube channel where we regularly post videos of girls sharing their FIRST® stories, and we also hosted an Inspire series on Instagram Live, where we interviewed prominent women in STEM careers about their experience in college and in their workplace. 

In addition to #FIRSTLikeAGirl, our team hosts Exploding Science summer camps for students ages 8-12. We teach them about simple machines, chemistry, physics and robotics, and we repurpose older FIRST® LEGO® League challenges to teach kids how to build and program LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robots and work together as a team. We’ve also expanded our outreach program through the creation of Spark Science kits. This is a global outreach initiative that we designed to inspire the imagination of kids around the world in hope of “sparking an interest” in STEM. We developed multiple reusable science experiments to fit in boxes sent to orphanages and schools, and as of today, we’ve sent 134 kits to 48 countries and have translated instructions into 6 different languages, helping to make STEM education accessible for everyone.