Program Overview - What is FIRST Tech Challenge?
It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (10+ 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. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”
Guided by adult Coaches and Mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. Each season concludes with Regional Championships and an exciting FIRST Championship.
The really cool thing about FIRST Tech Challenge is being part of a team. All skill levels are welcomed and needed, technical and non-technical.
What does every FIRST Tech Challenge team need?
- 2 or more adult 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 advising, and other tasks.
- A suitable meeting place and space to design and build a robot about the size of a microwave oven.
- A standard kit of robot parts and a common set of game and robot rules issued by FIRST Tech Challenge.
- A budget and a fundraising plan.
- The desire to learn, explore, strategize, build camaraderie, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be accepted, and HAVE FUN!