COVID-19 Impact Updates from FIRST® HQ

FIRST has helped students discover their passions in STEM for more than 30 years. What started in one school gym has evolved into a global movement. The pandemic put this evolution on full display: Our community of young people found innovative ways to put their FIRST-built skills to the test and are emerging from the last year even more resilient and ready for the future.

Access to FIRST programs has never been more critical. We remain committed to working with educators, parents, and community leaders to deliver our impact-proven programs and help more young people find belonging and prepare for the future.

However, we recognize that as long as the pandemic continues, we will have FIRST participants who can’t access our hands-on programs in their schools and communities. FIRST believes that the best path toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic—and having a successful season—is through vaccination. We strongly recommend everyone who is eligible and has access to a vaccine consult with their physician and get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. 

We’re doing our best to navigate uncertainties while helping our international community plan for the future. With safety and wellness of the FIRST community top of mind, here’s a look at what we’re planning for the 2021-2022 season:

2021-2022 FIRST® FORWARDSM Presented by Qualcomm
Season Updates

  • The FIRST® LEGO® League CARGO CONNECTSM season has launched and materials are available for download. We will continue to offer program and event modifications. Official FIRST events in your area may be offered in traditional, remote, or hybrid formats and are determined by your Program Delivery Partner.
  • The FIRST® Tech Challenge season kicked off September 18 with a new game and includes half-field modification options for remote and hybrid formats as needed. Event formats and timing for the 2021-2022 season will be determined by your Program Delivery Partner.
  • The FIRST® Robotics Competition season will kick off January 8 with a brand-new game challenge and is planning for a return to in-person events this season. Read updates on event preferencing (Aug. 19) and payment terms (Sept. 17), and select single-day events (Oct. 6).
  • PreK-12 FIRST Class Packs are available to help educators meet students where they are with flexible curricular options.
  • FIRST will host a single season-culminating FIRST Championship event, to be held in Houston, April 20-23, 2022, with modified eligibility criteria for teams coming soon. Read more about our plans in our Nov. 12 update on


For the latest information about FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge events in your region, contact your local FIRST Partner.

For more FIRST updates, subscribe to the FIRST Newsletter. We look forward to working with you to move FIRST FORWARD.  

Registration for the 2021-2022 season is now open for all programs in the FIRST Dashboard.