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About FIRST   


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international not-for-profit organisation inspiring and preparing young people to tackle the challenges and opportunities that robotics presents.

This is achieved through a series of STEM-based programs that nurture the skills, confidence and resilience to build a better world.

The programs are designed for schools or structured after-school activities and are supported by a vast network of volunteers, educators, sponsors and donors. In this way, the ultimate aim of FIRST is to create a global community where:

  • science and technology are celebrated

  • young people dream of becoming STEM-based leaders and innovators.


FIRST    Global Impact


FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers.

Over 2.5 million

students impacted in more than 100 countries since 1989.

More than 668,000

students reached globally by FIRST programs during the 2022 - 2023 season.

Over 28 million

hours served by volunteers and educators during the 2022 - 2023 season.

FIRST    Australia and Macquarie University


FIRST Australia was established at Macquarie University in 2006 to facilitate the growth of hands-on STEM learning. Our ongoing involvement includes:

  • Organising the FIRST programs in Australia, with participants and competitions in all states and territories

  • Providing overall financial and resourcing support to develop robotics outreach programs across Australia

  • Coordinating and managing potential sponsorship opportunities

  • Assisting teams in applying for grants and sourcing materials from overseas

  • Championing a thriving national robotics fraternity, with a special emphasis placed on under-served communities.

FIRST Guiding Philosophies

There are two: They emphasise friendly sportsmanship, respect for others, learning as part of a team, and community involvement. Combined, they seek to cultivate and preserve a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion.



  1. Gracious Professionalism   - the act of encouraging and respecting high-quality work where fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions.

  2. Coopertition   - a hybrid of cooperation and competition. The goal is to produce innovation in a competitive atmosphere, while also assisting and enabling others when you can.

Core Values

These values guide participants at every stage of the program: from conducting research, fundraising and designing, to building and showcasing their achievements.

  • Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas. 

  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems. 

  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world. 

  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences. 

  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together. 

  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!

Active FIRST Communities in Australia

The Australian FIRST community extends to all states and territories. Use the map to view regions with active participation in FIRST programs!

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