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Using data visualization to help inspire the next generation of STEM leaders

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Identifying strengths to gear up for expansion

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) is a global nonprofit that inspires K-12 kids to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills. Their robotics programs encourage innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities, including confidence, communication and leadership.

Visualizing the path to national growth

The FIRST wish list included more efficient dashboards to track their participant retention and attrition rates, and the PwC pro bono team's involvement brought the opportunity to dedicate time for conversation and self-evaluation. FIRST welcomed the outside perspective and analysis. They wanted to understand how data analysis and visualization techniques employed in other industries could be implemented successfully in their organization to make them more effective and broaden their outreach.

PwC worked collaboratively with FIRST to understand how deriving trends in the data from retention, attrition and team sustainability could help drive insights to inform their overall growth strategies. The PwC team conducted data analyses using advanced statistics and visualization, as well as geospatial techniques. With the dynamic capabilities of these tools, the FIRST management team could now easily isolate and segment their data to see a detailed visualization illustrating the factors attracting, engaging and retaining their participants, then use that data-driven information to strategically build upon what works and address lagging points. This kind of analysis is helping FIRST better position itself to expand its programs that boost kids’ curiosity and confidence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through robotics.


     In the client’s words

“[The PwC team] brought expertise and fresh, unbiased perspective to the problem. It was clear from the beginning that everyone involved was knowledgeable and passionate about data. The team gave us some ideas that were not what we expected, and it is exactly what we needed.”

Maryana Svyatskiy, Strategic Data Manager, FIRST

Better data. Right hypotheses. Stronger programs.

After the engagement, the FIRST team shared the findings with their local coalitions, initiating a more robust conversation within the organization’s community to move beyond organic growth to targeted collaboration efforts with school districts. FIRST is continuing their study of retention and attrition, asking more pointed questions of their coaches, mentors and mentees who’ve left the program.

They’re now able to test better hypotheses and make their programs more widely available to engage more kids worldwide. FIRST is emerging stronger with plans to remove barriers to entry and introduce more accessible school programs with long-term engagement potential to provide access to inspiring, high-quality STEM programs.

Contact us

Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

Jeff Senne

Jeff Senne

Responsible Business Leader, PwC US

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