FIRST volunteers are a positive force for change

FIRST® volunteers around the world are leveraging their skills and resources to make an impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers, mentors, and coaches, along with their students, are making a difference from a distance by organizing and 3D printing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and donating them to healthcare facilities and essential workers in need. We are so proud of the steps the FIRST community is taking to be a Force for Change during this unprecedented time. Check out what some of our FIRST volunteers have been up to: 

  • NYC FIRST staff and volunteers have been working to support their local community by distributing goggles to hospitals across NYC. In addition, their STEM Center teachers have been busy not only teaching FIRST students from a distance, but also 3D printing vital face shields and masks.
  • FIRST ®Robotics Competition Team 2052, Knight Krawler, shared this post about how their coach secured a material donation from 3M that will them create over 11.000 face shields. 
  • FIRST  mentors, volunteers, and students have been working together through a nonprofit group, Growing STEMs, in Southern Maryland to organize PPE creation and delivery to hospitals
  • FIRST in Michigan volunteers created a website, organized hospital needs, and challenged teams to donate a total of one million face shields, face masks, and safety glasses to hospitals, first responders, and others on the front lines.

Some FIRST volunteers and teams are helping to fight COVID-19 by 3D printing masks or donating materials to local businesses in need, but not everyone can do this, and that’s OK! We see you and applaud you for making a difference by keeping your distance. YOU are a Force for Change just by staying home. Be proud of the actions you are taking to #flattenthecurve; we certainly are! Volunteers are also taking this opportunity to stay connected and support each other virtually: 

  • Dawei Lin, a FIRST ® LEGO® League judge and FIRST ® Tech Challenge mentor, and his FIRST  Tech Challenge team, Almond Robotics (#12518), founded "FIRST Online - for teams, by teams" (FIRST Online). It is a platform for students, mentors, coaches, and event volunteers to share their knowledge and experiences, FIRST Online has organized more than a dozen workshops and panel discussions presented by experienced teams, judges, and referees. 
  • Nikki Stout, FIRST alum, FIRST Robotics Competition mentor, and event volunteer, has been hosting a weekly online movie night to stay connected with her FIRST family. "Friends With Robots" come together to watch and chat about a movie each week through an app.  
  • W.A.F.F.L.E.S., a robotics club in Kingston, Ontario, with programs for ages 6 through high school has launched their “Alone Together Force for Change Challenge” to inspire people to stay connected and take care of themselves and each other. 
  • Shout out to the judges and judge advisors who are continuing to #BuildThemUp by selecting team and volunteer awards for the FIRST Virtual Showcase and the FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award.  

We appreciate your commitment through this challenging time. Thank you. Whatever you are doing to be a Force for Change, share your story with us on social media using #FIRSTFFC.