FIRST® Brings the Power of Design, Creativity, and Precision to the New FIRST® Tech Challenge Season with CENTERSTAGESM presented by RTX

More than 6,000 Teams of Middle and High-School Students Will Learn About the Connections Between STEM, the Arts, and Design During the 2023-2024 Season of FIRST® Tech Challenge

MANCHESTER, N.H., September 9, 2023 – FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, launched its 2023-2024 FIRST® Tech Challenge season, CENTERSTAGESM presented by RTX, with a game reveal on the FIRST Tech Challenge YouTube Channel on September 9. This year, students will compete using their STEM skills in a one-of-a-kind art-inspired robotics season. CENTERSTAGE is part of the 2023-2024 FIRST® IN SHOWSM season presented by Qualcomm, which will shine the spotlight on the roles our STEM skills play in the arts and design to build a world of endless possibilities.  

Inspired by performances that entertain and move us, CENTERSTAGE will highlight how STEM skills empower students to bring ideas to life. Teams will collaborate and innovate as they design, build, program, and operate robots to set the stage in a thrilling head-to-head challenge. The CENTERSTAGE season theme focuses on how our skills make it possible to create art and experience that bring us together, entertain, and move us.

“The greatest technological breakthroughs require creativity, flexibility and new ways of thinking,” said Randy Bumps, RTX vice president for corporate social responsibility. “By empowering students to tackle science challenges creatively, FIRST is preparing them for careers across disciplines, especially in STEM. And at RTX – indeed, throughout industry – we aim to recruit and retain those very same next-generation creators to innovate the future of aerospace and defense.” 

As the presenting sponsor for the CENTERSTAGE season, RTX directly supports FIRST events, programs, and thousands of teams globally, through funding and time donated by hundreds of employees. RTX is doing its part to bring innovation, collaboration, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to students all over the world.

 “Through our partnership with RTX this season, we will show students around the globe how art and design are an integral part of great innovations, and more importantly, that there are many career opportunities and pathways that unite the arts and STEM,” said Chris Moore, CEO, FIRST. “We can’t wait to see what students create in CENTERSTAGE and what they are empowered to create in the future because of these experiences.”

FIRST Tech Challenge is a widely accessible robotics program for grades 7 through 12 in which teams design, build, code, and operate sophisticated robots to play a themed floor game in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.

In addition to gameplay, designing and building robots, FIRST Tech Challenge participants raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards during the competition season.

Registration for the 2023-2024 CENTERSTAGE presented by RTX season is now open.

FIRST Strategic Partner, RTX, is the Season Presenting Sponsor for the 2023-2024 FIRST Tech Challenge season, CENTERSTAGE. CENTERSTAGE is part of the 2023-2024 FIRST IN SHOW season, sponsored by Qualcomm.


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 afterschool 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

About Raytheon Technologies 
Raytheon Technologies is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. Our global team of 180,000 employees pushes the limits of known science and redefines how we connect and protect our world. We are advancing aviation, building smarter defense systems and creating innovations to take us deeper into space. The company, with 2022 sales of $67 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.