Start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

 

FIRST Tech Challenge teams design and build a robot using a reusable kit of parts and compete within a common set of game rules to play an exciting field game and complete the specific season challenge. The robot game changes every season and is always a blast!

FIRST redefines winning by rewarding teams for achievements both on and off the field − excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism®, and outreach efforts are some of the award criteria. Winning is always secondary to the quality of the overall experience.

Student and adult team members are encouraged to bring any skills they already have, like programming, electronics, metalworking, graphic design, web creation, public speaking, videography, and many more. FIRST Tech Challenge welcomes every student, with or without special skills.

Please note FIRST does not match children to existing teams due our privacy policy. We encourage those looking for a team to contact their local schools, libraries, or youth organizations that may have a team in place or interest in starting one.

Essential steps to starting a FIRST Tech Challenge team

Gather support resources
Familiarize yourself with FIRST Tech Challenge by checking out the materials on our website and social media pages. Then locate your region’s Affiliate Partner or FIRST Senior Mentor. These people know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.


Enlist Coaches & Mentors
Each team needs two 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 skills, and other tasks. Most teams meet once to twice a week during the build and competition season, which typically runs from September through January depending on your region.


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.)


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.