FIRST Badges is a system of digital “open” badges which provides visual recognition and evidence of learning and accomplishment for students participating on a FIRST Robotics Competition team.

Open Badges are secure, web-enabled credentials that contain granular, verified information and can be used on resumes and job applications.

A group of Michigan FRC team mentors develop and administer the FIRST badges website and badge content.  The FIRSTinMichigan organization and the Michigan Department of Education provide support and guidance. MDE has a guidance document on how badges can be used to document student learning.

The badge system has domains and levels.  Domains represent a range of knowledge in a topic.  Levels in the domain include tasks with active learning components which progress in difficulty.  The student/participant learns about a task or function, demonstrates  competency and extends his/her learning.  Task completion is assessed through a rubric.  When a level is awarded, student/participant place the digital icon in personal digital backpacks and control where they wish to display the icon.  These icons contain information about the tasks and activities needed to earn the badge.

Participants (adults and students) can display badges electronically through the free Badgr backpack. Any system that uses the OBI (Open Badges Infrastructure), like Credly will allow a participant to collect all OBI badges into a single site.

Level 1 and Level 2 badges are knowledge and skill-based requirements.

Level 3 and Level 4 badges extend into analysis and synthesis activities.  Mentors and industry professionals evaluate the student/participants portfolio submission. ​Level 4 badges are the culmination of the domain set.

How do you get started?

Students/Participants – Review the badge tasks and requirements.  Work with your mentors to earn badges.

Mentors – Download the badge tasks and requirements.  For Level 1 and Level 2 badges, use the checklists to determine when a student has completed a badge.  To award the digital badges, a team mentor needs to fill out this form to be granted access to Badgr.

Taking the extra step to acknowledge student learning with digital badges is a great way to reinforce learning and help students with future careers.