Novelis Helps Foster Greater Access to FIRST Programs in Rural South Korea

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Photo courtesy of The Korean Times


#PeopleofSTEAM is an ongoing blog series that highlights diverse voices in our community and the impacts they are making on the world of FIRST®, the world of STEAM, and/or in their own backyard.


FIRST is committed to expanding the engagement and advancement of girls and women in STEAM. To foster greater participation in STEAM for everyone, we partner with sponsors like FIRST Strategic Partner Novelis. Together, we provide students with strong support along all stages of their STEAM education journeys.

We spoke with students from three all-girl teams in South Korea supported by FIRST Strategic Partner Novelis. With Novelis’ long-term commitment to STEAM education in South Korea, including workshops and scholarships, now more than ten robot and coding clubs are active in Yeongju and nearby communities every year. Some of our favorite anecdotes from the student participants include:


Skill Building

“By participating in FIRST… we learn to build a robot that can specifically perform a mission that fits the theme of that year's competition. We also learn skills such as collaboration, as we not only build a robot to solve a mission, but also form alliances with other teams to operate it. We also get to configure the hardware and software of our robot and share our methods and ideas with the participants through the medium of presentations. Finally, we can think and develop more engineering by writing engineering notes on how to solve the mission.”



“I feel empowered when I solve a problem. It's empowering to know that you didn't give up and keep trying.”

“I feel empowered when learning skills at FIRST® Tech Challenge, participating in competitions, and feeling the value of "together" as we all work towards a common goal… I feel empowered to reach for higher goals when we learn skills together, share our thoughts, and solve problems.”


Sense of Accomplishment

“You feel a sense of accomplishment when you realize a goal you've envisioned, or a sense of pride and joy when you've worked hard on a stubborn problem and finally solved it. Knowing these feelings makes us more willing to try to do something.”



“I use my STEM skills not only for this competition, but also to prepare for other IT-related competitions such as hackathons, and to collaborate with others to share ideas and solve problems.”



“What I learned from FIRST is the basic principles of robotics, programming, and most importantly, working with my teammates and respecting and understanding each other. I hope to use not only my robotics and programming skills, but also the sense of cooperation I learned from working with my teammates in my life.”


Read more about STEAM programs in South Korea.

Read more Novelis’ strategic partnership with FIRST.


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