STEM – An Acronym That’s Widely Talked About In The Education World Focusing On Science, Technology, Engineering, And Math – Is Lighting The Way For The Future Of Education.
FIRST Washington, the largest after-school STEM program in the state engages youth grades K-12 through competitive robotics competitions. Several of the FIRST Washington’s team’s robots are currently on display at Inspirus Credit Union in Tukwila.
Nearly 11,500 Washington students make up more than 1,100 FIRST Washington teams statewide.
FIRST Washington participants gain first-hand experience designing, building, and programming robots that perform pre-determined tasks as part of a game. Just as important, participants are integrated into a fun, team-based learning environment created to encourage their interests, teach the benefits of collaboration, boost self-confidence, and illuminate the exciting world of STEM student and careers.
“FIRST teaches students life skills that are preparing them for life beyond high school,” said FIRST Washington President Erin McCallum. “Whether that means college for some, or going into the workforce after high school, FIRST is helping them get there.”
The mission of FIRST Washington is to inspire all 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 foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
“Programs like FIRST Washington go to the core of what we stand for at Inspirus – giving back to the education community,” said Inspirus Credit Union President Scott Adkins. “We’re honored to share the work of these students, and we know they will grow up to accomplish great things.”
Inspirus is donating $2,500 to support FIRST Washington in local schools while additionally showcasing the program in their Tukwila branch.
“It’s amazing to see the work of these students and we’re so thankful for the support of Inspirus, which will help three FIRST teams build their robots and compete this upcoming season,” said McCallum.
Visit www.firstwa.org/how-to-help to make a contribution to a team near you.
About FIRST Washington
Since 2011, FIRST Washington, a nonprofit organization, has offered mentor-based after school programs that ignite youthful minds through education, hard work, mentorship and healthy competition. These programs foster well-rounded life skills such as self-confidence, teamwork, and leadership. Currently there are nearly 11,500 young people (6 to 18 years old) participating in FIRST programs across the state. Teams and the organization are supported by more than 5,500 volunteers including coaches and mentors. FIRST Washington strives to alleviate the growing problem of a shortage of skilled professionals in STEM and the need for an innovative workforce by using strategies that promote STEM interest, knowledge, and learning and that inspire students to pursue post-secondary education/training in STEM. The four after school programs include: FIRST LEGO League Jr. (grades K-4th); FIRST LEGO League (grades 4th-8th); FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7th –12th); FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9th-12th). For more information on FIRST Washington or to find out how to get involved please visit: http://www.firstwa.org.
About Inspirus Credit Union
Inspirus Credit Union (pronounced inspire-us) is where banking benefits education. When members use Inspirus for their financial services, they are furthering the credit union’s mission and increasing contributions to Washington’s education community. Nearly 80,000 member-owners share a passion for education that connects them to Inspirus and Washington classrooms. The credit union is a not-for-profit financial institution that returns earnings to members through lower loan rates, higher returns on deposit, and donates time, talents, and dollars to the communities it serves. With $1.2 billion in assets, Inspirus operates branches in Seattle, Spokane, and Lynnwood. For more information, visit inspirusCU.org.