FIRST® Tech Challenge increases the difficulty of the robotic challenge by changing to the "Tetrix" building system (similar to erector set), more powerful motors, more advanced sensors, and Blocks and JAVA as a programming language. In our program, students can choose to join FTC immediately or stay in FLL during the 7th and 8th grade.
We explore new skills and ideas
We respect each other and embrace our differences
We use creativity and persistence to solve problems
We are stronger when we work together
We apply what we learn to improve our world
We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
Guided by their coaches and mentors, students design, build, and program autonomous and manually controlled robots to perform a series of missions based on that year’s theme released by FIRST©
Teams fabricate their robot from nearly any material they want and can use 3D printers to print parts.
Teams use CAD software to model their robot in 3D and use hand and power tools to build their robot
Robots must start out inside an 18-inch cube, but may expand to any size after the match has started
Robots are controlled by a Rev Robotics Drivers Hub that the teams program.
Teams must strategize which tasks they want the robot to complete
A discussion with judges at the competition allows the team to highlight their design path. Typical topics include lessons learned, unique features of the robot, design flaws, and
what modifications would be explored if the team had more time
Learn teamwork and communication skills.
Discover the fun of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Model a real-world engineering process.
Hands-on problem solving
Build life skills while building robots and work towards participating in tournaments.
Building self-confidence, knowledge, and career and life skills
Meet new friends and become part of a robotics family that they can continue on to different levels through middle and high school.
What FIRST Tech Challenge Involves
Teams consist of 7-10 students aged 7-10th grade
Teams have mentors who work and teach side by side with the students
Teams use meetings to complete all of the different tasks to compete in a season including going through the engineering process
The team decides when and how long to meet
They receive the robot challenge video for the season at Kickoff
Each team then goes through all the robot rules in the Season Game manuals
They come up with a strategy that fits their team and starts to build a robot
They work on using CAD to design the robot and go through other design strategies
The teams keep an engineering notebook / portfolio that logs all of the things they have learned and the strategy they are going for. It also notes their business plan and outreach activities
Teams then choose 2 regionals they would like to attend around the state and compete for a chance to move on to the state championship
At the competition they have a 15 min judging session with the judges to explain their robot, code, season, and outreach activities etc.