Congratulations to all Teams PLUS all the Mentors, Volunteers, Sponsors, Friends and Family members from all over California, plus Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and England who participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition Orange County Regional from March 9-12, 2023.

This year’s Regional, held at the OC Fair & Event Center, was a great success! With 47 teams participating, the weekend went smoothly, despite a rainy, soggy practice day. Students were excited to have a visit on Friday from Cathy Looman, Director of Education for season sponsor HAAS Automation.

Cynthia Mescher, of Regional Sponsor Parker Aerospace, kicked off the first day of competition with an inspiring welcome during Opening Ceremonies.

Saturday night, the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award was presented to Sean Stone, mentor for team 3501, and the Volunteer of the Year was presented to Jared Hasen-Klein, the region’s Volunteer Coordinator.

The playoffs were highly competitive, with well-matched alliances turning in close-scoring matches, and a very spirited Team 2637 received the FIRST Impact Award, making for an exciting end to a great Orange County Regional!

We’d like to extend an immense THANK YOU to all the sponsors, mentors and volunteers who contributed to this very successful Regional.

We hope you too had a memorable experience at the Orange County Regional! 

Big thanks to Brian King and Joe Duncan for capturing these amazing Orange County Regional memories!

Feel free to download and share any of these photos.  You can tag FIRST California on Instagram at @firstroboticscalifornia and use hashtags #FIRSTinCA, #firstininspires, #CHARGEDUP and #omgrobots.


The following teams and individuals earned top honors at the Orange County Regional and earned their way to compete at the FIRST Championships in Houston, April 19-22, 2023

FIRST Impact Award

The FIRST Impact Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.   

The FIRST Impact Award is presented to the team judged to have the most significant measurable impact of its partnerships among its participants and community over a sustained period, not just a single build season. The winner is able to demonstrate progress towards FIRST’s mission of transforming our culture.  The recipient team will be invited to a FIRST Championship where it will compete for the FIRST Impact Award against winners from other qualifying events.

This team aims to make STEM accessible for everyone — with outreach to Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, special education students, and bringing hope and advocacy to teams that would not otherwise have this support.

While bringing everyone along for the ride, this pack parades their excitement in STEM in everything they do. That includes sharing with sponsors, fellow teams, and their local community.

They are hauntingly impressive — their alliance with FLL teams is established and growing through STEM development courses and Arizona Native American communities. The cat is out of the bag!

  • Team 2637, Phantom Catz from Rolling Hills Estates, CA

    Engineering Inspiration

    The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community.  This team will advance to the Championships and receive a $5000 NASA grant toward registration.

    “This year’s engineering inspiration award goes to a team that is a shining light for science and technology in their community.  Their lion-like commitment resulted in over 1000 hours impacting students from grades K through 12 to better their community. The judges look forward to seeing this team soaring high in the future.”


    Regional Winners

    • Team 987, Highrollers from Las Vegas, NV
    • Team 4415, EPIC Robotz from Cerritos, CA
    • Team 4276, Surf City Vikings from Huntington Beach, CA

      Regional Finalists

      • Team 3476, Code Orange from Irvine, CA (wildcard)

      Dean’s List Finalist

      In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding FRC students, the Kamen family sponsors an award for selected top students known as the FIRST Dean’s List. This award celebrates a student’s outstanding leadership and effectiveness in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as their community. FIRST Dean’s List Finalists will compete at the championship for the FIRST Dean’s List.

      • Matteo Salloum from Team 1884, Griffins
      • Nicholas Ortiz from Team 4141, Monarch Robotics

      Woodie Flowers Finalist Award

      FIRST stands apart from other competitions in STEM and sports due to the FIRST Ethos of Gracious Professionalism, the concept of Coopertition, and the commitment to the FIRST Core Values. The guiding force behind these principles was Dr. Woodie Flowers. Dr. William Murphy, Jr., who was instrumental in creating the concept of FIRST with Dean Kamen, recognized the unique perspective, wisdom, and communication style that Woodie brought to the FIRST Robotics Competition.

      In honor of Woodie, Dr. Murphy founded the Woodie Flowers Award in 1996. He recognized that the FIRST ethos would be carried forward by our FIRST mentors and sought to celebrate those mentors who demonstrate the leadership, ethical behavior, and communication skills exemplified by Woodie. Woodie believed “societies get the best of what they celebrate”.

      Being recognized by students, through nomination essays, makes this honor very meaningful to mentors. It is truly an honor for a mentor to be nominated for this award.

      “You shared high praise for the accomplishments and dedication of your mentors and your teams. Based on your input, we now recognize the outstanding contributions of ONE mentor to the FIRST experience.

      This mentor leveraged his professional expertise as a Mechanical Design Engineer and introduced industry standards to include computer-aided design, design review processes, and supply chain management to the team. To invest in knowledge transfer between members, this mentor designed and set up an annual training program that simulates build season. The program teaches students engineering design principles and manufacturing skills.

       Reaching beyond the FRC team, this mentor also mentors FLL teams, volunteers at FIRST competitions and events, and publicly speaks to many about FIRST.

       Please join us in congratulating the 2023 Orange County Regional Woodie Flowers FINALIST Award winner, Sean Stone, from Team 3501!”

      • Sean Stone from Team 3501, Firebots

      Additional Awards

      Congratulations to the Teams and individuals that earned the remaining awards at the Orange County Regional! See the list here.

      Instagram Highlights

      Don’t Miss Out on the Best Moments of Orange County Regional. Watch Our Instagram Highlight Tab!