Programs  >  FIRST® Robotics Programs

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Robotics

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) aims to inspire girls to become science and technology leaders. This mentor-based program is designed to inspire innovation, cultivate interest in STEM fields, and foster life skills (such as self-confidence, verbal communication and team-building).


The four levels of robotics in which we are involving all-girl teams are:

  • Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (JrFLL)
    Focused on cultivating an interest in science and engineering in youth ages 5-9, JrFLL is a hands-on program designed to capture children’s inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. The program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, teamwork and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, girls work with LEGO® bricks to build a model that moves. Additionally, they create a poster to illustrate their process.
  • FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL)
    FLL immerses youth, ages 9-14, in real-word science and technology challenges. Each participating team proposes an innovative solution to a current scientific question or problem. In tandem with their scientific research, girls are also introduced to the field of engineering as they build an autonomous LEGO®-based robot that performs a series of tasks in local robotics competitions.
  • FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC)
    FTC serves youth ages 14-18 with a greater emphasis on engineering. Under the guidance of a coach, each team is required to design, build and program a robot using sound engineering principles to accomplish the assigned set of robotic tasks. Teams then compete with their robots in local tournaments.
  • FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC)
    FRC serves youth ages 14-18 and challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and compete in games designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers and a committee of engineers and other professionals.

Meet Erin, a Girl Scout, who talks about her robotics team

How Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is getting involved in robotics

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is currently working with 30 Girl Scout teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), grades 7-12, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL), grades 4-8, and Junior FIRST LEGO League (JFLL), grades K-3. Teams, led by adult volunteer coaches and mentors, worked together to design and build a robot and program it to do various tasks. At the FLL and JrFLL levels, they also researched a topic based on the year’s challenge and did a presentation about their research and innovative solutions. Teams then competed at regional tournaments.

In 2014-15, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will expand the program to include two more high school teams.

Through robotics, girls will learn valuable life and employment skills by creating ideas, solving problems and overcoming obstacles. They will also gain confidence in their abilities to positively use technology.

Important Dates:

  • April 2014
    Team applications go out in the monthly e-newsletter. Applications are funded on a first-come, first-served basis, and teams are notified in August if they receive funding. Girl Scout teams are required to have at least six girls and two unrelated adults to coach them.
  • April 23-26
    World Championship at the Edward Jones Dome and America’s Center. Free and open to the public!
  • August 2014
    Teams are notified of funding. FLL season starts.
  • September 2014
    FTC season starts.

Volunteering for FIRST®

Girl Scouts of the United States (GSUSA) has partnered with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST®, to offer Council program opportunities in these areas. The mission of the FIRST® program 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. The experience also inspires innovation and fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.

FIRST® programs also involve thousands of volunteers - from mentoring a team to being a referee at a competition. If you have science, technology or engineering expertise, or if you just want to be a part of the program, consider getting involved. Visit www.stlfirst.org for more information.

To learn more about FIRST® programs for all ages, visit www.usfirst.org.

Questions? Contact: Amber Sagona, 314.592.2376, asagona@girlscoutsem.org.

Funding for the 2013-2014 robotics program is generously provided by:


Crawford Taylor Foundation
Clifford Willard Gaylord Foundation