FIRST works closely with research and academic organizations to provide tangible evidence of our impact on students’ education and career choices.
FIRST Longitudinal Study (updated: 1/16/14):
FIRST® and Brandeis University have launched a multi-year longitudinal study of three of FIRST’s major programs: FIRST® LEGO® League, FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition. The goal of the study is to provide data on the long-term impacts of FIRST programs on key outcomes, including student interest in science and technology, college-going, STEM majors, STEM careers, and practical life and workplace skills (communications, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.). The study is also designed to help answer questions about what elements of the FIRST program experience are particularly important.
Over the next five years, the study will track a sample of approximately 1000 FIRST program participants and a matched comparison group of non-FIRST students. The study will focus on a nationally representative sample of teams drawn from 10 states: California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Comparison students are being recruited from the schools or organizations where the FIRST teams are located.
The data for the study comes from a combination of student, parent, and team leader surveys, as well as interviews and focus groups with study participants. Year 2 data collection efforts are underway. Findings from the first year of the study are expected in the Winter, 2014.
Junior FIRST LEGO League
An evaluation of the Jr.FLL Program is being conducted by The Research Group at The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. The goal of the evaluation is to understand the impact of the Jr.FLL Program on youth participants and coaches. Data collection will begin during the 2013 program season, and include case studies of teams, surveys of youth, coaches, and parents, and observations and interviews at Expos. Findings are expected in September, 2014.
FIRST LEGO League:
A replication of prior impact evaluations of FLL is being conducted by Brandeis University, Center for Youth and Communities. FLL youth participants, coaches, and parents will be surveyed to assess STEM interest, skills, and attitudes, and 21st century work skills. The final report is expected in the Winter, 2014.
For more information on FIRST Research and Evaluations, please contact Nancy Boyer, FIRST Research & Evaluations Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following represents the most recent research conducted on FIRST programs. For full reports or more information on the studies listed below, please contact Nancy Boyer, FIRST Research & Evaluations Manager.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
- 2011, FTC/FRC Cross Program Evaluation, Executive Summary (110 KB)
- 2009, FRC District Tournament Pilot (108 KB)
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
Junior FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
- 2005, Jr.FLL Survey, Pilot Evaluation (896 KB)