FIRSTTech Challenge teams (Grades 7-12) design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in head-to-head challenges, working in two-team alliances.
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. Aluminum-based robots are coded using Java or block-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, market their team brand and do community outreach to earn specific awards.
Five teams advance to the world championship in Detroit in April.
Participants are eligible to apply for over $80 million in college scholarships.
5 Things You Need to Know:
Coaches should have technical skills, with a knowledge of computer programming. Each team requires least two adult coaches and mentors.
There are upto 15 members per team.
Teams meet at least once each week for a duration of 2-3 hours.
Competitions run from November through March; registration open May through October.
The cost is $575 for registration and events; $600 for each LEGO robot kit (reusable); plus travel, food, etc. Grants and sponsorships are available.