50,000 Gather to Celebrate Youth Robotics Teams From 58 Countries at FIRST® Championship in Houston

More than 18,600 Students Competed with Team-Built Robots and Showcased Innovation Skills with Support from Presenting Sponsor BAE Systems and Other Global Brands Event

Celebrates Conclusion of 2023-2024 Robotics Season, FIRST® IN SHOWSM Presented by Qualcomm Incorporated


Former NASA engineer turned YouTube celebrity and founder of CrunchLabs, Mark Rober, addresses the crowd at FIRST Championship.

Former NASA engineer turned YouTube celebrity and founder of CrunchLabs, Mark Rober, addresses the crowd at FIRST Championship.


HOUSTON, April 20, 2024 – This week, FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, brought together approximately 50,000 people from around the world as hundreds of student robotics teams put their innovation, teamwork, and robotics skills to the test at the 2024 FIRST Championship presented by BAE Systems, which took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The not-for-profit organization’s annual four-day event concluded Saturday with middle and high school robotics teams competing in heart-pounding match finals for the FIRST® Robotics Competition and FIRST® Tech Challenge international championships, in front of thousands of cheering fans. Four teams from Binyamina, Israel; Sedalia, Missouri; Phoenix, Arizona; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were the FIRST Robotics Competition Winning Alliance for this year’s game, CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas. Teams from Focsani, Romania; San Diego, California; Cape Town, South Africa, were the FIRST Tech Challenge Winning Alliance for CENTERSTAGESM presented by RTX.

At FIRST Championship, 1,015 student robotics teams from 58 countries competed and exhibited across FIRST programs, and many FIRST® LEGO® League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, creativity, and teamwork. (See “2024 FIRST Championship Winners” section below.)

“Every year, FIRST Championship gets bigger and better, but one thing remains the same: it’s a remarkable and life-changing experience for students of all ages,” said Chris Moore, CEO of FIRST. “Not to mention, the competition is as fun, thrilling, and heart-pounding as any other sporting event – but our sport is the only one where every kid on every team can go pro.”

Special guests at the 2024 FIRST Championship included Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and prolific inventor, and other global leaders in business and innovation including former NASA engineer turned YouTube celebrity Mark Rober.

“Our longstanding partnership with FIRST reflects our commitment to fostering the next generation of our industry’s dreamers, planners, and doers,” said Tom Arseneault, president and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc. “Through FIRST, these students are gaining the essential experiences and skills to solve our world’s biggest challenges and create a better tomorrow.”

FIRST Championship also honored significant supporters of the FIRST mission:

  • Mark Rober, founder of CrunchLabs, was the recipient of the Founder’s Award, presented each year by FIRST founder Dean Kamen to one organization or individual for exceptional service in advancing the ideals and mission of FIRST.
  • The Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to outstanding event volunteers for FIRST programs: Scott Goering from Kansas (FIRST Robotics Competition); Peggy McChesney and Clark McChesney from Texas (FIRST Tech Challenge); Mehdi Troudi from Tunis, Tunisia (FIRST LEGO League).
  • The Woodie Flowers Award, founded by Dr. William P. Murphy Jr. in 1996 and named after Dr. Woodie Flowers to recognize FIRST Robotics Competition mentors who lead, inspire, and empower through effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design, was awarded to Norman Morgan, Team 2468, Team Appreciate, Austin, Texas.
  • The Compass Award for excellence in coaching/mentoring FIRST Tech Challenge was awarded to Coach Vedant Choudhari, who was nominated for this award by Team 18031, Horcruxes, Pune, India.
    • Compass Award Finalists were Coach Soon Wan from Team 11780, BLUE Box, Windham, N.H., and Coach Paul Dohn from Team 5356, TARDIS, Corning, N.Y.
  • Coach/Mentor Awards for FIRST LEGO League went to Alin Dincá from Team 64789, ARRA, Pitesti, Romania; Werner Flick from Team 64841, ILF International Frogs, Göggingen, Germany; Monica Marques dos Santos from Team 64793, PARDOBOOTS, Ourinhos, Brazil; Dave Tomko from Team 578, Tiger Techs (Orange), Sharon, Pa.; Maxwell Kangas from Team 61329, SupercalifragilisticA.S.T.R.Oalidocious, Alamogordo, N.M.; and Peggy Maricle from Team 23260, N.O.A.M. Nerds On A Mission, Holmen, Wis.

FIRST Championship, the world’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students, commemorated the conclusion of the 2023-2024 robotics season, FIRST® IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm, which challenged FIRST teams to discover the roles STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills play in the arts and bring their ideas to life.

On Saturday, FIRST previewed its ocean-themed 2024-2025 season, FIRST DIVESM presented by Qualcomm, with an inspiring video highlighting the role technology plays in helping us explore beneath the surface and learn from our planet’s most complex ecosystems.

“Qualcomm has supported FIRST for the last two decades because we know passion for invention starts at a young age, and today we have many FIRST alumni driving innovation at our company,” said Angela Baker, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Qualcomm Incorporated. “As a company of inventors, Qualcomm is committed to nurturing the next generation of diverse innovators and technologists. Here at FIRST Championship, we have been excited to see the creative ways students designed and built robots to solve this season’s challenges, and we are proud to support them.”

2024 FIRST Championship Winners  

Select 2024 winners of the competitions and awards announced in Houston are listed below. Visit the award links provided for additional recipients: 

Dean’s List Award – This award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. 

From FIRST Robotics Competition:

  • Max Du, Team 4421, FORGE Robotics, Alberta, Canada
  • Alisha Ali, Team 4414, HighTide, Calif.
  • Elizabeth Seaton, Team 6413, Degrees of Freedom, Ariz.
  • Noah Ren, Team 2202, BEAST Robotics, Wis.
  • Kamila Ortega Sandoval, Team 9134, Prepa Tecmilenio – DEVOLT, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Ella Meyer, Team 7531, Servos Strike Back, Iowa
  • Edna Conness, Team 4931, Edwardsville Technologies, Ill.
  • Sarah Milligan, Team 1188, Ravens, Mich.
  • Darius De Biagi, Team 9642, I.N.T. Robotics, N.Y.
  • Akash Krishna, Team 4131, Iron Patriots, Wash.

From FIRST Tech Challenge:

  • Emily Kurashima, Team 14825, Team Waffles, Hawaii
  • Graden Gentry, Team 5115, WHS - Escape Velocity, Colo.
  • Ryan Hallihan, Team 16461, Infinite Turtles, N.C.
  • Ramsey McClure, Team 18145, Men in Black Jax, Fla.
  • Emily Daniels, Team 18984, Hurricanes505, S.C.
  • Hannah Rehard, Team 14295, Operation T.A.C., Calif.
  • Sophia Lander, Team 4537, DRSS Enterprise, Ohio
  • Quentin Norris, Team 21594, Pearson Odyssey, Alberta, Canada
  • Justin Jin, Team 16458, TechnoWizards, Texas
  • Harish Pravin, Team 12791, Iterative Intentions, Texas

1. FIRST® Robotics Competition - FIRST Robotics Competition (~ages 14-18) combines sports excitement with the rigors of science and technology. Working with adult mentors, students have limited time to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s challenge. In the 2024 game, CRESCENDO, teams used their STEM skills and creative power to turn up the volume in action-packed game play that included autonomous and driver-operated periods. The presenting sponsor for the FIRST Robotics Competition season is the Gene Haas Foundation.

More than 3,500 FIRST Robotics Competition teams competed during the 2024 season in regional and district events, with 600 teams advancing to Championship, where they competed in rotating alliances in one of eight divisions for several matches to earn ranking points and advance to playoffs.

  • Team 2486, CocoNuts, Flagstaff, Ariz., won the FIRST Impact Award, the highest honor given at the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, recognizing the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.
    • Team 5614, Team Sycamore, חולון, Israel; Team 6429, 4th Dimension, Bornova, Türkiye; Team 2438, 'Iobotics, Honolulu, Hawaii; Team 5985, Project Bucephalus, Wollongong, Australia; and Team 3990, Tech for Kids, Montreal, Canada, were FIRST Impact Award Finalists.
  • The Winning Alliance of the FIRST Robotics Competition was Team 1690, Orbit, Binyamina, Israel; Team 4522, Team SCREAM, Sedalia, Mo.; Team 9432, Team 8-Bit, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Team 321, RoboLancers, Philadelphia, Pa.
    • The Championship Finalist Alliance was Team 254, The Cheesy Poofs, San Jose, Calif.; Team 1323, MadTown Robotics, Madera, Calif.; Team 294, Beach Cities Robotics, Redondo Beach, Calif.; and Team 1189, Gearheads, Grosse Pointe, Mich.

Within their divisions, FIRST Robotics Competition teams earned additional match-based and judged awards, including Championship Division Winner, Engineering Inspiration Award, Rookie All Star Award, and Gracious Professionalism® Award.

View a list of winning teams by division: Archimedes Division | Curie Division sponsored by Rockwell Automation | Daly Division sponsored by Qualcomm | Galileo Division sponsored by BAE Systems | Hopper Division sponsored by Molex | Johnson Division sponsored by Gene Haas Foundation | Milstein Division sponsored by PwC | Newton Division sponsored by Medtronic.  

FIRST Tech Challenge Team 7120 “Bionica” from Hewlett, N.Y. prep their robot for gameplay at FIRST Championship.

FIRST Tech Challenge Team 7120 “Bionica” from Hewlett, N.Y. prep their robot for gameplay at FIRST Championship.

2. FIRST® Tech Challenge – FIRST Tech Challenge (~ages 12-18) students learn to think as engineers. Teams design, build, and program sophisticated robots, then pair up with alliance partners to compete in themed, 12-foot by 12-foot floor game. In the 2023-2024 game, CENTERSTAGE, teams used the power of design, creativity, and precision to operate robots a thrilling head-to-head challenge that included autonomous and driver-controlled periods. The presenting sponsor for the FIRST Tech Challenge season is RTX. 

Approximately 7,900 FIRST Tech Challenge teams competed during the 2023-2024 season, with 224 teams advancing to this week’s FIRST Championship, where they competed in rotating alliances in one of four divisions across multiple days of game play to earn ranking points and advance to playoffs. 

  • The Inspire Award, recognizing excellence in robot design and teamwork, went to Team 12791, Iterative Intentions, Flower Mound, Texas.
    • Finalists were: Team 19458, Equilibrium.exe, Potomac, Md.; Team 8565, TechnicBots, Plano, Texas; and Team 11212, The Clueless, San Diego, Calif.
  • The Winning Alliance was Team 19066, AiCitizens, Focsani, Romania; Team 11212, The Clueless, San Diego, Calif.; and Team 18763, Texpand, Cape Town, South Africa.
    • The Finalist Alliance was Team 17962, Ro2D2, Ploiești, Romania; Team 12993, RoboKings Aurum, Sunshine Coast, Australia; and Team 19836, Hawk, Richmond Hill, Canada.
  • The Promote Award went to Team 10265, Force Green from Chesterfield, Mo.
    • 2nd Place went to Team 8651, Wait For It..., Pearl, Miss., and 3rd place went to Team 18185, Lightbotics, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Within their divisions, FIRST Tech Challenge teams earned additional match-based and judged awards, including Division Winning Alliance, Design Award, and Connect Award. 

View a list of winning teams by division: Franklin Division sponsored by RTX | Jemison Division sponsored by | Edison Division | Ochoa Division sponsored by Qualcomm 

3. FIRST® LEGO® LeagueFIRST LEGO League (ages 4-16, varies by country) introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by inviting them to conduct research projects and build LEGO®-based autonomous robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FIRST LEGO League teams, guided by their imaginations, discover exciting career possibilities and learn to make positive contributions to society.  

This year, MASTERPIECESM challenged more than 58,000 student teams from around the world to explore what it takes to communicate, engage, and entertain an audience of any size. FIRST LEGO League Global Program Sponsors are LEGO® Education and The LEGO® Foundation. The FIRST LEGO League Challenge Division Sponsor is Rockwell Automation. 

152 FIRST LEGO League Challenge division teams (ages 9-16) competed at this week’s event through robot matches, Innovation Project presentations, and FIRST Core Values activities.  

  • Top honors went to Champion’s Award winner, Team 64790, LOS ATÔMICOS, Araras, Brazil.
    • Champion’s Award Finalist were Team 17737, Knots and Bots, Chicago, Ill.; Team 55589, Master Cubz, Andover, Mass.; Team 64770, Breaking Bot, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; Team 64839, Invictus, Valencia, Spain; and Team 64793, PARDOBOOTS, Ourinhos, Brazil.
  • The Robot Performance Award went to Team 64730, KILOBYTES, George Town, Malaysia.
    • The Robot Design Award went to Team 52755, Argent Agents, Greenville, S.C.
  • The Innovation Project Award went to Team 64611, Cyber Tigers, Swellendam, South Africa.
    • The Core Values Award went to Team 61242, The Three Moons, Kansas City Region.

39 FIRST LEGO League Explore division teams (ages 6-10) presented exhibits of their MASTERPIECE models and research to showcase their critical thinking and imagination skills during the event.  

The Core Values Award, Team Poster Award, Team Model Award, Coding Award, and Challenge Solution Award were presented during a ceremony honoring all exhibiting FIRST LEGO League Explore teams. 

Visit the FIRST LEGO League blog for a full list of Challenge and Division award recipients, coming soon.  


For more from FIRST Championship, watch highlights and follow FIRST on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok


2024 FIRST Championship Sponsors: The 2024 FIRST Championship is presented by BAE Systems. The Lead Sponsor is Mouser Electronics. Co-Sponsors include Bechtel Group Foundation, Central Intelligence Agency, Coca-Cola Company, Crunch Labs, DoD STEM, The Gene Haas Foundation, Molex, the United States Air Force, United Therapeutics Corporation, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Friends of FIRST Sponsors include Aramco, ARMI | BioFabUSA, Ball Corporation, Houston First, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, PwC, TE Connectivity, and United Airlines.  

2023-2024 FIRST Strategic Partners: The 3M Company, Apple, The Argosy Foundation, BAE Systems, Bechtel Group Foundation, The Boeing Company, Bosch, Caterpillar, Inc., DEKA Research & Development Corporation, DoD STEM, Dow, FedEx Corporation, Ford Motor Company, The Gene Haas Foundation, General Motors Company,, John Deere, LEGO® Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NI, Novelis Inc., Qualcomm Incorporated, RTX, Rockwell Automation, Inc., TE Connectivity, and The Walt Disney Company 


Save the Dates for the 2025 FIRST Championship events: April 16-19, 2025, Houston. 


About FIRST® 

FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured after-school programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Participants and alumni of FIRST programs gain access to education and career discovery opportunities, connections to exclusive scholarships and employers, and a place in the FIRST community for life. Learn more at