The Mission of #FIRSTLikeAGirl
#FIRSTLikeAGirl strives to improve the culture of STEM by sharing the experiences of the successful women and girls in FIRST. By showcasing the many incredible women of FIRST and their stories, girls can find role models who they identify with and are inspired by. Through this social media campaign, we empower girls with the confidence to overcome cultural pressures, follow their dreams in STEM, and become active members of the FIRST community. We improve the culture of STEM by providing role models to inspire girls to become the next generation of science and technology leaders.
It is our mission to encourage girls and women everywhere to realize their opportunities, actively participate and thrive in the FIRST community and give back the encouragement we have found from each other.
Why we think #FIRSTLikeAGirl is important
We started this movement because we recognized that there is still a lack of female participation and engagement both within the FIRST community and the world of STEM. Various studies show that girls love STEM until around the age of 11, when they begin to lose confidence.
Researchers suggest many possible approaches for fixing the gender gap in STEM, including exposure to hands-on learning opportunities and promoting female role models. According to a recent article by The Society Pages, “Social science shows that positive role models are indeed a significant predictor of interest and success in STEM for women.”
FIRST has an abundance of enthusiastic, motivated, generous and cool gals, and telling their stories enables more girls to find role models. Seeing the stories of ladies involved with FIRST locally left us wanting more, leading us to #FIRSTLikeAGirl. One of the most surprising yet amazing impacts of #FIRSTLikeAGirl was the effect it had on the boys of our team. The campaign has helped us each see how we can create a more inclusive culture on our team, and we hope it will have the same impact on yours.
The growth of #FIRSTLikeAGirl
The idea for an all inclusive program started in the Fall of 2014, but came to life as our team continued to grow and a video mentor envisioned a direction for the initiative. In our build space in the Spring of 2016, we began to film some of the stories of our female members to share their experiences with the world.
- April 2016 – We launched the very first #FIRSTLikeAGirl videos and began sharing them on social media and continued to tape and share more.
- October 2016- With the help of Plughitz Live and Tampa Roboticon, we were able to film 14 videos from local and international teams
- November 2016 – Other teams, like team 2212 The Spikes in Israel, started to share their stories.
- March 2017 –
- Partnered with Roboshow at the Orlando Regional to provide opportunities for 9 more girls to share their stories
- Started to hand out #FIRSTLikeAGirl buttons
- April 2017
- launched the #FIRSTLikeAGirl website and Instagram account
- Partnered with 15 FIRST teams to distribute 5,000 buttons at both the Houston and St. Louis Championships
- June 2017, launched a dedicated Twitter account @firstlikeagirl
Since then, more teams have produced videos and even more are on their way. We are looking for more partners to help expand our reach and encourage more girls to get involved with all levels of FIRST by mentoring, sponsoring, hiring and encouraging girls in STEM!