FIRST® Unveils New Season Challenge, CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas, for FIRST® Robotics Competition Teams as Part of FIRST ENERGIZESM presented by Qualcomm Season

3,300+ teams tuned in for the live broadcast of the 2023 FIRST® Robotics Competition Kickoff presented by Novelis

Students competing in 31 countries will be supported by tens of thousands of STEM educators, professionals, and supporters

MANCHESTER, N.H., January 7, 2023FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, launched the 2023 FIRST® Robotics Competition season today with the unveiling of a new challenge called CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas. The 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff presented by Novelis in collaboration with the United States Space Force was broadcast on FIRSTtv live from Manchester, New Hampshire, the hometown of FIRST headquarters, and was virtually attended by thousands of students, mentors, and FIRST supporters from around the world. An estimated 80,600 students on more than 3,200 teams are expected to participate in this year’s program.

“Gene Haas and all his employees are ecstatic that the Gene Haas Foundation is the 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition program presenting sponsor,” said Kathy Looman, the Gene Haas Foundation’s Director of Education. “FIRST brings to young people technical and life skills, compassion, integrity, Coopertition® and fun; the tools humans need for a fulfilled and happy future.”

CHARGED UP presented by Haas is part of the 2023 FIRST ENERGIZESM presented by Qualcomm season. In CHARGED UP, teams are inspired to see the potential of energy storage in a new light as they compete to charge up their communities. Using renewable energy can transform our communities, but only if it is effectively stored and delivered to those who need it. The power of engineering can help make a meaningful difference. This year’s challenge addresses global challenges related to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7 -- focused on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Chris Moore, CEO of FIRST, encourages students to be inclusive, creative, and confident throughout the season, saying: “Our world is facing many challenges related to energy. During the CHARGED UP presented by Haas season of FIRST Robotics Competition, we will teach our students to leverage the tools they acquire throughout the program to transform the ways they think about energy consumption well beyond the competition.” Moore continues, addressing FIRST students directly: “As a student participant, this season will challenge you, it will transform the way you think about your own impact, and it will show you what you’re truly capable of, all with our global community behind you. I can’t wait to see what you’re able to accomplish this season – both on and off the competition field.”

At today’s FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff presented by Novelis, teams were shown the CHARGED UP presented by Haas game field and challenge details for the first time and received the Kickoff Kit, which is made up of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – with limited instructions. Each team receives a Kit of Parts supported by 65 FIRST suppliers, and delivered by long-time supporter and Strategic Partner, FedEx.

Working with adult mentors, students have limited time to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s challenge. Once these young inventors build a robot, their teams will participate beginning in late February in one or more of the global 166 Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

By participating in FIRST, students gain confidence to explore the innovation process while learning valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Students also learn and apply the FIRST ethos of Gracious Professionalism® via a signature set of FIRST Core Values.

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.

To learn more about the CHARGED UP presented by Haas season and how to participate, visit the FIRST Robotics Competition Game & Season page.


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 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. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999, by Gene Haas, founder and owner of  Haas Automation, Inc. to support the needs of the local community, through grants to local charities. Seeing a growing need for skilled manufacturing employees worldwide, the Foundation expanded its mission. By providing scholarship grants, sponsoring individual and team CNC competitions, and partnering with the very best CNC training programs in the world, the Foundation helps expand the availability of high-quality manufacturing technology training worldwide. The Gene Haas Foundation donates millions of dollars every year to manufacturing education and the community. In 2022, the Gene Haas Foundation provided more than $27 million in grants, bringing the total since inception to more than to $152 million.    

Haas’ commitment to education is unsurpassed in the industry, with over 5,500 schools world-wide training with Haas CNC technology. Gene Haas is also the owner of the Haas F1 team, Formula One Racing Team, Windshear Rolling Road Wind tunnel and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR teams.