COVID-19 Impact Updates from FIRST® HQ

December 1, 2021
FIRST is closely monitoring the Omicron variant and its potential impact to the FIRST community.  While we await more information on the variant, FIRST continues to strongly recommend everyone who is eligible and has access to a vaccine consult with their physician and get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with booster shots if applicable, as soon as possible.   

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 kicked off January 8 with a brand-new game challenge and is returning to in-person events with some modifications. For the latest COVID-19 and venue information about specific FIRST Robotics Competition events, find your event page.
  • 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. For the latest information about the event’s COVID guidelines, read the FIRST Championship COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy.


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.