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What to expect as a volunteer in the 2021-2022 FIRST FORWARD Season

In the 2021-2022 robotics season, FIRST® FORWARDSM presented by Qualcomm, FIRST® teams have the power to reimagine a path forward and invent the future of transportation. Access to FIRST programs has never been more critical and is made possible by our dedicated community of volunteers. Your support is needed this year more than ever. We are excited to welcome you back! As we continue to navigate the pandemic with the safety and wellness of the FIRST community top of mind, we know you may have questions. What will this season look like? Will things be “normal” again? Will we have in-person events?

Whatever your situation, we have a way for you to engage in this upcoming season in a meaningful way. We are hoping for a return to in-person events where that can be done safely, but this will vary by region and by program. We are getting excited to welcome you back! 

What can I do now to get ready to deliver the future this season?

  • Grab your exclusive Deliver the Future digital swag and outfit your favorite devices!
    • Share your digital FIRST volunteer badge on social or in your email signature, snag the social media covers for your Facebook and Twitter profiles, and outfit your favorite devices with wallpapers designed to inspire and spread the word that you deliver the future.
  • Log in to your FIRST Dashboard, update your profile, and accept this season’s acknowledgement and consent and release forms.
  • Get up to date on Youth Protection.
  • Click on the Volunteer Registration tab in your FIRST Dashboard or on our Event and Team search page to find events and opportunities near you.
    • Check back often as events will be added over the course of the season.
  • Interested in exploring technical and nontechnical mentoring opportunities with teams?
  • Get equipped with the skills you need by getting a jump start on volunteer training.
  • Check out the FIRST Volunteer Recognition Store for FIRST Volunteer Year of Service pins, FIRST Coach Mentor pins, and alumni volunteer patches.
    • When we can see each other in person again, you can proudly display your volunteer service. Grab one for yourself and one for a friend today!
  • Many employers will match your financial gifts and volunteer hours.
    • Thanks to the generosity of FIRST corporate supporters, employees have the option of doubling or even tripling their donation to the FIRST mission through the Matching Gifts program. See if your employer will match your donation!

Volunteer Updates by Program

Events may vary by region and by program in 2021 - 2022. In some instances, we will be pulling forward positive elements we introduced last year into our event process for this season. Please reach out to the FIRST partners in your area for more information and details on events and opportunities near you.

Season launch has delivered the materials for FIRST® LEGO® League teams to begin their CARGO CONNECTSM journey and with it, LEGO Education SPIKE Essential has arrived as a new option for Explore teams to use for their work. Next stop? Volunteer recruitment! Whether events are held in person or remotely where you live, smiling faces and engaged volunteers pave the way for a fun time for all. We’re in the process of tuning up our Event Hub to make helping out as judges, referees, and other roles smooth sailing for all.

The FIRST® Tech Challenge season will kick off September 18 with a new game, FREIGHT FRENZYSM presented by Raytheon Technologies. It will include half-field modification options for remote and hybrid formats as needed. We are hoping for an enthusiastic return, but FIRST Tech Challenge will stay flexible and provide for fluid transitions between in-person and virtual events if the needs of various regions shift. Local partners will determine whether events are in person or virtual, based on local health guidelines. Stay up to date on FIRST Tech Challenge volunteer resources here.

While we are developing plans for possible alternatives for the 2022 season, FIRST® Robotics Competition is planning for a mostly traditional season for RAPID REACTSM presented by The Boeing Company. Check the FIRST Robotics Competition Calendar for dates related to event preferences, Kickoff, traditional in-person events, and even FIRST Championship. We are excited to welcome back volunteers to our events. The events should be populated in your Volunteer Dashboard to allow volunteers to start applying by the end of October. We will be sharing more updates over the coming months, so be sure to subscribe to the FIRST Robotics Competition Blog to stay up to date! FIRST will continue to monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed.

Click here for more COVID-19 updates and the impact on the 2021-2022 season.


Thank you for being a FIRST volunteer!


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