FIRST and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Partner to Increase Access to STEM Education for Indigenous Communities in the United States

As a youth-serving organization, our commitment to inclusion is in service of ensuring that all young people feel belonging and thrive as part of our global robotics community. In an effort to continue this work, we are proud to announce our partnership with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). AISES is a national nonprofit grounded in the mission to increase the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.

“AISES is excited to embark on a new partnership with FIRST to bring hands-on, engaging robotics programming to Native-serving schools,” said Dr. Kathy DeerInWater, Chief Program Officer at AISES. “AISES will support community and family engagement while ensuring successful adoption of FIRST programs both inside and outside of the classroom.”


During the 2022-2023 season, AISES will identify schools to participate in FIRST, and FIRST will provide professional development for the schools' educators. Beginning in fall of 2023, FIRST and AISES will begin a multi-year classroom implementation of FIRST programs, furthering awareness and increasing retention for Indigenous K-12 students, community partners, and educators. Additionally, to support students to reach their goals in higher education, both scholarship and career support opportunities will be provided to college student members of AISES.

“In partnering with AISES, we are able to reach and provide increased access and STEM opportunities to historically marginalized students in the United States who have yet to participate in FIRST programs.” said Dr. Janell N. Catlin, Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at FIRST. “Both FIRST and AISES are mission-aligned to ensure that all students are equipped with the resources needed to succeed in an ever-changing world.”

Through this partnership, FIRST will further its mission of, reaching more youth, removing barriers, and increasing STEM engagement for all students across the United States.


To learn more about AISES, visit

To learn more about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at FIRST, visit