Inventor and FIRST Founder Dean Kamen launched the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season on Saturday with the Kickoff of a new robotics game called DESTINATION:DEEP SPACE in New Hampshire, hometown of FIRST Headquarters. Nearly 100,000 high-school students on 3,790 teams at 146 venues around the globe joined the 2019 Kickoff via a live broadcast.
DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE finds FIRST Robotics Competition teams collecting samples on Planet Primus.
Two competing alliances will combat unpredictable terrain and weather patterns, making remote robot operation essential to their mission on the planet. With only two minutes and thirty seconds until liftoff, the alliances must gather as many cargo pods as possible and prepare their spaceships for departure before the next sandstorm arrives.

At Saturday’s Kickoff, teams were shown the DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE game field and challenge details for the first time and received the Kickoff Kit from the Kit of Parts, which is made up of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – with limited instructions.
Working with adult mentors, students have limited time to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these young inventors build a robot, their teams will participate in one or more of the global 173 Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
The Boeing Company is the presenting sponsor for the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season. As a FIRST Strategic Partner, Boeing supports FIRST in many ways including: sponsorship of teams, employee volunteerism and mentorship, scholarships, and financial contributions. In February 2018, the company provided a $1.5 million grant to FIRST – part of a broader $3.5 million commitment – to assist in the development of targeted mentorship programs that increase STEM diversity, proficiency, and interest among K-12 students.
“Through charitable grants which fund STEM programs like FIRST, Boeing ensures students develop the skills they need to succeed in the future,” said John Blazey, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “Exposure to STEM subjects and experiences provides students opportunities to hone their critical thinking skills and learn to collaborate with one another — skills critical in today’s marketplace.”
California will be the host to 12 Regional FRC events in 2019:
2/27 – 3/2: Orange County Regional
2/28 – 3/3: Del Mar Regional
3/6 – 3/9: Central Valley Regional
3/6 – 3/9: San Diego Regional
3/14 – 3/17: San Francisco Regional
3/14 – 3/17: Los Angeles North Regional
3/20  – 3/23: Sacramento Regional
3/20 – 3/23: Los Angeles Regional
3/21 – 3/24: Monterey Bay Regional
3/27 – 3/30: Ventura Regional
3/28 – 3/31: Silicon Valley Regional
4/3 – 4/6: Aerospace Valley Regional
The 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff event is an opportunity for teams from all over the world to come together as a community to share in the excitement of seeing the new game unveiled. Teams at local Kickoffs in Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States watched the proceedings via live broadcast.
In California, thousands of students, mentors, sponsors and volunteers gathered at 13 Kickoff locations throughout the state.
Now it’s GO TIME!  We wish everyone the best of luck over the next 6 weeks as innovative minds and problem solving skills are put to the test!