FIRST TECH CHALLENGE
"It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (up to 15 team members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.
Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.
The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards. Participants are eligible to apply for $80M+ in college scholarships."
"FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills."
The FTC season starts in the fall, where the current year's game is announced. Following the announcement, teams work on a design process to develop robots that will be used to compete in during the winter and spring. Teams usually have around 3 practices a week, and have traveled to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan to compete. When teams aren't competing or building, they host and attend outreach opportunities to engage the community.
Learn more about the current season on the games page.
Building A Robot
Teams start each season by designing a completely new robot. They prototype and test different design concepts before designing their robots in CAD. They create custom parts for their robots to optimize their designs using 3D printed parts as well as aluminum and plastic parts. Throughout the season, the teams work to constantly improve their designs to produce highly-competitive robots that compete at state and world-championship levels.