FIRST ® Unveils New Season Challenge, CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas, for FIRST ® Robotics Competition Teams as Part of FIRST IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm Season

3,500 teams tuned in for the live broadcast of the 2024 FIRST® Robotics Competition Kickoff

Students competing in 28 countries will be supported by tens of thousands of STEM educators, professionals, and supporters

MANCHESTER, N.H., January 6, 2024 --  FIRST ®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, launched the 2024 FIRST ® Robotics Competition season today with the unveiling of a new challenge called CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas. The 2024 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff was broadcast on FIRSTtv, and was viewed by thousands of students, mentors, and FIRST supporters from around the world. An estimated 86,700 students on nearly 3,500 teams are expected to participate in this year’s program.

“The Gene Haas Foundation is proud to return as the 2024 FIRST Robotics Competition program presenting sponsor,” said Kathy Looman, the Gene Haas Foundation’s Director of Education. “FIRST helps create an environment for all young people to build technical and life skills, compassion, integrity, Coopertition ®, all while having fun. From musical instruments to motorsports, we need the same skills and machining technology to design and create cutting edge art.”

CRESCENDO presented by Haas is part of the 2024 FIRST IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm season. In CRESCENDO, teams are encouraged to see all that is possible, when combining their creative ideas and innovations with engineering and design. Through collaboration and communication, participants around the world will celebrate the role that the arts play in STEAM. Students will learn that our skills make it possible to create art and experiences that bring us together, entertain us and move us.

“I can’t wait to see how these students explore and combine STEM and the arts for creative problem-solving both on the field, and off,” said Chris Moore, CEO of FIRST. “With the support of their teammates and mentors, student participants will be empowered to turn their big ideas into bold actions. Students around the world will work towards creating a brighter future while expanding their STEM skills and practicing Gracious Professionalism®.”

At today’s FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff, teams were shown the CRESCENDO 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. Each team receives a Kit of Parts supported by more than 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 in one or more of the global 171 Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students. Events begin in late February and listings are available here.

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 CRESCENDO 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

About Gene Haas Foundation

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 $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.