As a proud partner of FIRST®, Optimum continues to support and inspire the next generation of innovators through the company’s annual award grants.

Optimum, the provider of advanced internet, mobile, TV, and phone services, is thrilled to announce the winners of the fifth annual Optimum Innovator Awards, which recognizes FIRST Robotics Competition teams for their innovation and efforts in areas such as community engagement, technology, inspiration, diversity, and sustainability. This year, Optimum is celebrating the accomplishments of five winners, five runners-up, and 15 honorable mentions and awarding grants to each to support their continued growth, creativity, and innovation.

With the 2024 season of FIRST competitions completed, the Optimum Innovator Awards recognizes the drive and hard work that teams have displayed throughout the year – from partnering with a local emergency planning committee to help improve and expand the use of drones and robots to constructing and installing accessibility equipment and prioritizing eco-friendly materials and methods. As FIRST students prepare for the next competition season, the Optimum Innovator Awards further supports their efforts to find new and innovative ways to design and engineer their robots as well as inspires them to create a positive change in the world.

As a long-time supporter of FIRST, an organization that provides students with mentor-based programs to build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, Optimum is committed to deepening its community presence as well as championing programs in its local communities that help inspire and educate future innovators. Optimum’s continued partnership with FIRST is a concrete example of the company’s dedication to celebrating what makes each of its local communities unique and making a positive impact in the communities it serves – a commitment renewed through Optimum’s new brand platform, Where local is big time. 

Through this year’s commitment, Optimum sponsored over 60 teams for the FIRST Robotics Competition as well as six regional competitions across its footprint to help supply resources and tools needed for FIRST teams to build and program a robot.

Optimum Innovator Award winners will receive grants of $2,000; runners-up will receive $1,500; and honorable mentions will receive $500. Once the winners are announced, Optimum will also host recognition events with local officials and key community partners joining in on the celebrations.

2024 Optimum Innovator Award Winners

Inclusion Award

  • Winner: Wild Reds (Mineola, NY)

  • Runner-up: T.E.S.T. Team (Bridgewater, NJ)

Excellence in Technology Award

  • Winner: Warhawks (Edison, NJ)

  • Runner-up: Aerobots (Bronx, NY)

Community Impact Award

  • Winner: Dark Side Robotics (Parkersburg, WV)

  • Runner-up: Panther Robotics (Paola, KS)

Inspiration Award

  • Winner: Full Metal Jackets (Rockwall, TX)

  • Runner-up: OBots (Ossining, NY)

Sustainability Award

  • Winner: Megaladons (Bronx, NY)

  • Runner-up: Pierson Whalers (Sag Harbor, NY)

Honorable Mentions

  • The Martins (Warwick, NY)

  • POBots (Plainview, NY)

  • The PSIchotics (Lindenhurst, NY)

  • RoboLions (Middle Island, NY)

  • Hicksville Jbirds (Hicksville, NY)

  • Rebel Robotics (Great Neck, NY)

  • Regal Eagles (Bethpage, NY)

  • The Brooklyn Blacksmiths (Brooklyn, NY)

  • SciBorgs (Bronx, NY)

  • Pitt Pirates (Greenville, NC)

  • P.A.R.T.s (Winfield, WV)

  • SMART (Sylva, NC)

  • Bomb Squad (Mountain Home, AR)

  • F.R.O.G. (Grove, OK)

  • RoboTalons (Prosper, TX)

Click here to learn more about Optimum’s long-standing partnership with FIRST and the Optimum Innovator Awards.


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