FIRST Inspires Thousands of Students Worldwide to Rise to the Challenge with FIRST Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL Presented by Qualcomm

FIRST® Offers Remote Event Hub, Continues to Deliver Life-Changing Experiences to Young People Around the World

More than 6,000 Teams of Students Tackle New Challenge Focused on Redefining the Game and Exceeding Potentials During the 2020-2021 Season: FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change

MANCHESTER, N.H., September 12, 2020FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, launched its 2020-2021 FIRST® Tech Challenge season with an online game reveal on September 12. Thousands of youth participants, adult mentors, and FIRST fans alike gathered virtually to watch the FIRSTtv broadcast and get a first glimpse of this season’s game, which focuses on revolutionizing the nature of traditional sports: ULTIMATE GOAL presented by Qualcomm. Students in 40 countries around the world will participate this season.

For regions around the world that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, FIRST will offer remote event options for FIRST Tech Challenge teams and volunteers. The FIRST Remote Event Hub will make the experience as close as possible to a traditional FIRST program event with the necessary modifications to accommodate a remote environment, ensuring everyone is able to participate in this season’s challenge. Learn more about the FIRST Remote Event Hub and FIRST’s commitment to its community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIRST Strategic Partner Qualcomm Incorporated returns as the Season Presenting Sponsor for the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge season. During the ULTIMATE GOAL season, Qualcomm® technology will enable thousands of FIRST Tech Challenge teams to create Android smartphone-controlled robots powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platform. This control system technology enables students to build innovative and advanced robot designs with autonomous and vision processing features.

In addition to technology, Qualcomm directly supports FIRST events, programs, and thousands of teams globally, with its commitment to teams via direct funding and time donated by hundreds of employees. Qualcomm is doing its part to bring innovation, collaboration, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to students all over the world.

“Qualcomm is thrilled to be returning as the Season Presenting Sponsor for FIRST Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL, for the sixth year in a row”, says Angela Baker, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility at Qualcomm. “During this time of global uncertainty, we’re proud to utilize our 5G and technology leadership to support virtual learning and keep STEM education a priority for our next generation of inventors, like the brilliant students involved in FIRST.”

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, student develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.

 “Though we are facing challenging and uncertain times, we are committed to offering students all over the world a positive, enriching, and above all – safe – FIRST program experience this season, just like we would any other year,” said Ken Johnson, Director, FIRST Tech Challenge. “We are proud to partner with Qualcomm to deliver the ULTIMATE GOAL season with both remote and traditional event options, which will allow all participants to fully engage in the competition no matter where they are. We are so proud of the adaptability and resilience our students have demonstrated during these unprecedented times and can’t wait to see how they tackle this year’s game.”

This season, the 2020-2021 game, ULTIMATE GOAL, represents the potential in all of us to redefine the game and exceed our team and personal potentials through the only sport where every kid can go pro. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance of teams by delivering wobble goals to the correct randomized target zone goal and other marked areas; parking their robot on top of the launch line; launching rings to score power shot targets; collecting and launching Rings to score in their alliance-specific low, medium, or high goal; and scoring Rings on a wobble goal. Teams must program their robots to play in three sections: autonomous, driver-controlled, and the end game. Teams can use advanced artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning (ML) technologies to improve the performance of their competition robots during play. Points are added throughout game play, and penalties are assigned at the end of the match.

As a global organization that teaches young people how to solve problems and innovate, FIRST is committed to doing the same to ensure its participants can stay engaged with FIRST programs in the challenging year ahead. FIRST Tech Challenge is adapting its program offerings and creating new opportunities for FIRST teams to engage with this season across learning environments in addition to the traditional offerings and benefits for registered teams and participants. 

In addition to game play, designing and building robots, FIRST Tech Challenge participants have the opportunity to raise funds, design and market their team brand, perform community outreach, participate in career exploration and networking, including the FIRST Mentor Network and FIRST Scholarship Program, and receive access to Cloud-based CAD and collaboration tools, awards and scholarships.

The Presenting Sponsor for the FIRST Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL season is Qualcomm Incorporated. Official Program Sponsor is Collins Aerospace. CAD and Remote Collaboration Sponsor is PTC’s Onshape. FIRST Tech Challenge ULTIMATE GOAL is part of the 2020-2021 FIRST season, FIRST GAME CHANGERS powered by Star Wars: Force for Change.

FIRST Tech Challenge is part of the suite of PreK-12 FIRST STEM robotics programs. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators.

Registration for the 2020-2021 ULTIMATE GOAL season is now open. Need-based grants supported by generous sponsors are available for new FIRST Tech Challenge teams.


About FIRST®  
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $80 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; and FIRST® LEGO® League Discover, Explore and Challenge for Grades K-8. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to


Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.