Two Mississippi FIRST LEGO League competitors from Stokes-Beard Magnet Elementary School in Columbus urge their robots on during the annual tournament
Photo courtesy of NASA

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST® ) is a national and international nonprofit organization that seeks to support learning and positive attitudes toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects, as well as to enhance 21st-century skills such as teamwork, cooperation, and critical thinking. To achieve these goals, FIRST offers five engineering and technology programs for youth, ranging from pre-K through grade 12: FIRST® LEGO® League Discover (grades pre-K – 1),  FIRST® LEGO® League Explore (grades 2-4), FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge (grades 4-8), FIRST® Technology Challenge (grades 7-12), and FIRST® Robotics Competition (grades 9-12).

The Lawrence has served as an evaluation partner to FIRST since 2012. Through this partnership, we have examined the implementation and outcomes of numerous FIRST programs and initiatives. Most recently, we completed a three-year study of the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Season Pass Model—an effort to broaden participation in its programs by reducing registration costs for larger, primarily school-based sites. The evaluation examined the implementation and outcomes of the Class Pack Model of implementation at school- and community organization-based sites across the United States.

Evaluation of the FIRST® LEGO® League Explore and FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Class Pack Model

Photo courtesy of NASA