FIRST Canada Strategic Plan: The Path to 2020 - A National Vision

Circular image of FIRST Canada's strategic plan for the year 2020.

The Path to 2020, FIRST Robotics Canada’s strategic plan, was meticulously developed through extensive research, collaboration, and consultation with our Community. This comprehensive process has led to formulating of a strategic plan that will steer the growth of FIRST Canada. At the core of this plan are our mission, vision, and values, which serve as the bedrock for our endeavours.

Overview of our Strategic Plan

The core of our Strategic Plan is the continued development and access to outstanding learning opportunities in STEM for students and mentors. At all levels, the FIRST family of programs provides experiential learning that encompasses a diverse array of disciplines in STEM and the arts and engenders building “soft skills.” Our goal is to engage an increasing number of students in FIRST programs to enable a clear understanding of the potential of STEM programs and careers. Mission, Vision, and Values The mission, vision, and values of FIRST Canada create the foundation of The Path to 2020. In turn, the Strategic Plan guides all decisions and actions.

The Mission of FIRST Canada: to inspire young Canadians to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting programs supported by mentors that build skills, encourage innovation, and foster self-confidence, teamwork, communication, and leadership.

The Vision of FIRST Canada is to transform Canada by creating a culture where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.

FIRST is committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Our students and volunteers will ensure that these Canadian values are at the core of all that they do in our Community. We encourage greater access and participation in our programs for women, First Nations, and the underserved.

Cooperation and Competition. Success in FIRST programs hinges on cooperation with both alliance and competing teams. We believe that collaboratively supporting excellence for all teams raises the level of learning by blending cooperation and competition. We call this “coopetition.”

Transfer of Knowledge and Skills. We believe that much valuable learning occurs when students work alongside adult mentors who take time from their professional careers to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise. Life-long bonds are created, and students are exposed to exciting career opportunities.

Gracious Professionalism. FIRST programs reward both on-field and off-field conduct that models the best values of professional respect and courtesy.

Strategic Directions:

  1. Support program development, real-world learning, and Application of theory and skills.
  2. Develop and support our Community.
  3. Ensure sustainability.

Program Development, Real-world Learning, and Application

We commit to growing student engagement in the FIRST Canada family of programs. We reserve to support diverse, inclusive, and equitable access for students and mentors. We believe that FIRST programs introduce students to the richness of STEM and commit to showcasing these opportunities.

Desired Outcomes for 2020:

  • Support the Application of STEM through FIRST Programs to a diverse youth population
  • Support participation in age-appropriate programs that are representative of real-world issues or present real-world challenges
  • Support integration with the school curriculum
  • Provide a network of support for mentors
  • Provide or support opportunities to showcase learning through tournaments, competitions, and outreach
  • Develop connections to role models/mentors in STEM
  • Implement and support networking to provide learning and integration

Develop and support our Community.

We commit to developing a connected community where students, mentors, alums, sponsors, and supporters have access to communication to facilitate interaction. We commit to growing the number of FIRST teams across Canada while maintaining the high level of excellence for which we are known. FIRST has strong FLL and FRC programs in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta; rapid expansion in British Columbia is underway. Additional provinces will be added as local resources and funding become available; FIRST Canada will mentor local organizations until solid local leadership is established. FIRST Canada will remain the primary contact for FIRST Headquarters (based out of Manchester, NH).

Desired Outcomes for 2020:

  • Develop a connected community through diverse and consistent communication streams
  • Maintain a robust volunteer base
  • Develop and maintain a robust Alumni community
  • Further engage our Executive Advisory Board as a vibrant sounding board to support FIRST Canada
  • Further develop and maintain diverse communication methods and tools
  • Consolidate past growth in the family of programs beyond currently engaged provinces while maintaining high quality


We commit to ensuring sustainability on all levels, including financial and governance. We will continue to seek and use research to inform our practices.

Desired Outcomes for 2020:

  • Secure funding to ensure continued financial stability through the diversity of revenue streams
  • Secure funding to ensure continued sustainable growth
  • Develop a robust succession plan for all levels of leadership
  • Develop and implement District Model to promote sustainable growth and costs
  • Collect and analyze data to inform decision-making, understand the impact, and provide concrete evidence for future funding opportunities
  • Continue to develop a robust and diverse network of supporters through marketing and broader awareness
  • Review governance structures and revise them as needed
  • Seek representation on the FIRST governance