FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

We get what we celebrate!

Jul 11, 2022 Written by the FIRST Hall of Fame




As FIRST Robotics Competition teams wrap up the 2021-22 season and begin preparations for the new challenges ahead, summer provides an abundance of opportunities for team development, including skill building, recruitment, and community outreach.

Community outreach is a key pillar of how teams contribute to FIRST’s mission. It’s not enough for FIRST participants to simply understand and engage with the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts that power so much of what we do; we also strive to share our passion, ideas, and hard-learned lessons with our communities. By doing so, we can help more people see themselves in STEM careers, incorporate more knowledge and life experiences to better inform our own work, and take steps to build a more innovative, inclusive world where science and technology are celebrated.   

Highlighting this impact that we have on our communities, transforming culture and inspiring the next generation of technology leaders, is what the FIRST Robotics Competition’s highest award has always focused on celebrating. Yet, our communities have changed in the last decades, and our attention is drawn to questions of equity, diversity, and inclusion. While this name-change was initiated because of the binary nature of the prior name, renaming the Chairman’s Award to the FIRST Impact Award, provides an opportunity to draw closer attention to what we value as a global FIRST community. The Chairman's Award has served us well and the name will continue to be a part of our history; but this change makes it easier to effectively communicate the context and significance of the award to newcomers to FIRST, and is more translatable for our growing number of international teams.

Like most awards presented to teams, the FIRST Impact Award now more directly describes and highlights the actions that it’s trying to highlight, making it easier to understand and appreciate the work of the teams that earn it. In addition, changes to submission requirements, the judging processes, and documentation efforts that FIRST and the Hall of Fame have collaborated on in recent years, align with the new name, improving the award process to better recognize the incredible impact that teams are making year after year.

The impact we make as teams and individuals has ripple effects that can be felt around the world and over generations.  The FIRST Impact Award is the driver for the culture of FIRST. It sets the tone for interconnectedness between teams and all levels of FIRST, building and maintaining relationships with sponsors, in our communities, with advocacy to our local, state and national governments, as well as inspiring our students to think outside the box and create amazing innovative approaches for lasting impacts to build the culture of the world into one that better appreciates all that FIRST represents with not only STEM, but also Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism.

The same submission process, definitions, and documentation form will apply to the FIRST Impact Award.  You can find the full information and resources links at:

The FIRST Hall of Fame comprises the teams that have earned the highest honor since it was first awarded in 1992. This FIRST affiliate group is committed to preserving the mission, culture, and history of FIRST, as well as celebrating the efforts of FIRST Robotics Competition teams. ou can learn more about the FIRST Hall of Fame at

Please email us at if you have any questions.

Thank you!

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It's pretty hypocritical of FIRST to claim that equity, diversity and inclusion are key principles, while continuing to hold the world championships in a state as regressive as Texas. I will be boycotting the championships as long as my money would end up furthering disgusting anti-choice, transphobic, anti-lgbtq+ and racist local and state governments.

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