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 Edition, teams are composed of students with disabilities with students from the general education population potentially serving as peer mentors and industry mentors providing technical support. Teams participate in the yearly FIRST Tech Challenge game (game & season materials found here), (which is reviewed and altered if needed to be even more accessible to students with disabilities). FIRST Tech Challenge – Access Edition teams may have the opportunity to participate in local events and/or be invited to participate in a State Championship event against other teams in the program. At the Championship, each team presents their robot and team attributes to judges and competes in a tournament-style competition.
FIRST Tech Challenge – Access Edition 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.
Materials Needed (grants available):
- 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)
For more information on FIRST Tech Challenge, visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc