FIRST Tech Challenge

Design! Build! Program!

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.

Mentoring+

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.

Reusable Kit

The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming.

Essential Steps to Starting a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

Gather Support Resources

Familiarize yourself with FIRST Tech Challenge by checking out the materials on the FIRST Inspires website and social media pages. Then contact us. We’ll help you know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. We can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.

Team Management Resources

Enlist Coaches and Mentors

Each team needs two or more adult lead coaches/mentors who are willing and motivated to coach the team through the build and competition season and beyond. Other adults can volunteer to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, technical skills, and other tasks. Most teams meet once to twice a week during the build and competition season, which typically runs from September through February.

Mentor Manual

Register and Pay

Once registered, your team becomes a part of the worldwide FIRST Tech Challenge community. You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST, along with a temporary team number in preparation for event registration in the fall. Part of the registration process includes ordering the kit of parts and completing payment. (Please note that, until you click submit, you are not committed to becoming a team.)

Create FIRST Inspires Account

Build Your Team

Find and invite a few students (maximum 15) who want to be part of a robotics team. Be sure to emphasize that no technical skills are required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Recruit all kinds of talents, not just engineering and electrical.

Fundraising

Your team will need to build a budget and fund their goals. Recruit local businesses to sponsor you. Some of them may already have a relationship with FIRST. We also have many fundraising opportunities you can explore, including grants for both rookie teams.

Review Mentor and Team Resources

Part of the fun is designing and building your robot and FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, and helpful build videos.

More About FTC

Season Information