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.
In FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access, teams are composed of students with disabilities with students from the general education population potentially serving as peer mentors (or “partners”) and industry mentors providing technical support.
- Laptop or equivalent for programming
- FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Kit (if buying outside FIRST Dashboard, recommended kits: REV Robotics FTC Starter Kit & Control & Power Bundle; other options available)
- Practice Field and Game Set (recommended, not required)
Grants are available to help cover costs of materials!
For more information on FIRST Tech Challenge, visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc
Robot Building Resources can be found here: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/robot-building-resources
Programming Resources can be found here: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/technology-information-and-resources
Game & Tournament:
Teams participate in the yearly FIRST Tech Challenge game, (which is reviewed and altered if needed to be even more accessible to students with disabilities).
FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access teams may have the opportunity to participate in local/regional events and/or be invited to participate in a State Championship event against other teams in the program. At the Championship, each team may have the opportunity to present their robot and team attributes to judges and compete in a tournament-style competition.
FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access teams are also welcome to register for and compete in the traditional FIRST Tech Challenge season, however, this participation requires payment of registration fees to FIRST headquarters, additional local event fees, and adhering to all traditional program rules.
During the 2020-2021 Season, teams will participate in ULTIMATE GOAL (game & season materials found here). There will be no rules changes this season, but in future season the game may be adjusted for accessibility purposes.
FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access will be part of a Demo Day at the FIRST Access State Championship at The Texas Cup at the Alamodome in San Antonio on June 15th; there will not be an in-person competition this season for FIRST Tech Challenge – FIRST Access. Information on Demo Day can be found here: https://firstintexas.org/programs/first-access/events/.