"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."

Dean Kamen, Founder


Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST® is excited to announce a funding opportunity exclusively available to FIRST® Robotics Competition Rookie Teams and New Veteran Teams participating in the 2020 season!  

Grant Details:

  • Awarded teams will receive $6,000 (restricted to registration) over the course of 2 seasons     
    • Teams will receive $4,000 in season 1 (2020) and $2,000 in season 2 (2021)
    • Awarded teams will be responsible for raising the additional funding needed each season
  • Teams must apply for grant via this application and meet all criteria in order to be eligible
  • Teams must fulfill grant obligations outlined below to receive the year 2 disbursement

 Grant Criteria and Obligations:

  • Teams must be a FIRST Robotics Competition Rookie or New Veteran Team
  • Teams must register for an event for the 2020 season before the grant can be applied
  • The application must include a copy of the team's fundraising plan. At minimum, the fundraising plan should include the following components: budget, fundraising strategy, and timeline of fundraising activities

Application Deadline:

Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, November 1st at 11:59 PM ET.  Teams must register for an event before the grant can be applied to a team's account. Teams will be notified via email of their award status by Tuesday, November 12th. 

Please note that completing an application does not guarantee funding and all teams should be actively fundraising and seeking additional funding opportunities.   

For additional fundraising and grant opportunities, please see the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit.

FIRST will be collaborating with local FIRST Regional Directors while reviewing applications. To find your FIRST Regional Director please visit https://www.firstinspires.org/about/contact-us).

By submitting this application on behalf of your FIRST Robotics Competition team, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the terms of this grant.  This includes an understanding that this grant is restricted to first event registration only and a commitment to fulfill the second-year requirement to receive the second portion of funding.

2nd Year of Grant:
In order to foster a culture of Gracious Professionalism®, awardees must share lessons learned at the end of the 2020 season.

Teams will be asked to complete a "lessons learned" assignment in May 2020, which will qualify them for the next year of the grant ($2,000 towards registration). 

IMPORTANT:  Failure to perform post-award obligations may forfeit year 2 funding. 

All kids need equitable access to opportunity, relevant mentorship, and engagement to build a foundation for a bright future. FIRST® is committed to bringing its programs to students who would benefit most and is actively engaged in developing strategies that will ensure greater access to its programs and reduce inequalities. Through the 2020 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant, FIRST is equipping up to 15 communities with $5,000 - $50,000 in funding to improve outreach and inclusion through training, disability inclusion tools, resources, and forming influencers affinity groups. 

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant exclusively from U.S. and Canada based Program Delivery Partners, VISTAs, and Senior Mentors. Your connection to the local FIRST community and youth organizations is critical to helping us identify those who can benefit most from the grant.  If you are a Program Delivery Partner located outside North America, and would like to be nominated for this grant, please connect with your Field Operations Manager.

Nomination criteria and important dates:

  • We ask that you make one nomination per community. 
  • Grant nominees will be considered based on their organization’s innovative inclusion strategies, underserved and underrepresented youth reach, and plans for sustainability, team growth, and removing any identified participation barriers.
  • All nominations must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on November 15, 2019.
  • Select communities will be invited to submit full proposals from November 21, 2019 through December 30, 2019.
  • Funded communities will be notified by March 30, 2020 of our intent to make a grant award. Funded communities will implement proposed activities from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

If you do not have a Submittable account, you will need to sign in or create one before you can submit your nomination. If you are part of a youth community organization in the U.S. or Canada and would like to be nominated for this grant, please contact a local FIRST representative. 

Any questions about the 2020 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant can be directed to diversity@firstinspires.org.

This grant is made possible as part of the FIRST Equity, Diversity & Inclusion strategy with generous support from our sponsors 3M, Apple, BOSCH, Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar, Cognizant Technology Solutions, The Walt Disney Company, Dow, John Deere, Qualcomm Incorporated, Toyota U.S.A. Foundation, United Technologies Corporations, individuals, and anonymous donors.