What is FIRST Robotics Competition?
Often called “The Ultimate Sport of the Mind” and “The Hardest Fun You’ll Ever Have”, FIRST Robotics Competition gives teams of 10 to 30 High School students (grades 9 – 12) the challenge of building a 120lb, competition-ready robot in under six weeks
Under strict rules and limited resources, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, as well as build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer Mentors from fields ranging from Engineering & Design to Business & Public Relations lend their time and talents to guide each team.
Are there Teams in my Area?
Yes! There are several FRC Teams currently operating in and around Ottawa, Ontario.
- Team 2706 – Merge Robotics (Ottawa)
- Team 2994 – ASTECHZ (Kanata)
- Team 3543 – C4 Robotics (Arnprior)
- Team 4783 – RoboRavens (Nepean)
- Team 7267 – Lisgar Robotics Club (Ottawa)
If you would like more information or would like to get in touch with any of these teams, send us a message using the Contact Us page.
Can I Start my Own team?
Yes! You’ll need a few things to get started:
- 2 or more adult Mentors with both technical and non-technical expertise willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the build and competition season (and beyond)
- 10 or more high school-aged students willing to put in time after school (and maybe some weekends) and to do any job the team needs to succeed (lots of important jobs available for all skill levels and interests)
- A suitable meeting place
- A suitable space to design and build an industrial-sized robot (about 150 lbs.), that has access to a variety of machine shop power tools
- Community sponsors that will help fund your efforts and provide other support
- The desire to learn, explore, strategize, build comradery, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be accepted, and HAVE FUN!
To get started, follow FIRST’s Guide to Starting an FRC Team.
When does FIRST Robotics Competition happen?
In general, FIRST Robotics Competition operates during the school year. Teams form and register in the fall. However, the “official season” begins early in January when the season’s Challenge is announced at a Kickoff ceremony. Teams are then given six weeks to create their robot. District qualifying events start in late February and continue through April. Teams that qualify are invited to the Ontario District Championships in Mississauga, before the very best advance to the FIRST Championship in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April. There are also many off-season events in which teams can participate, strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun!
What is the time commitment?
As a Mentor or adult Volunteer, you should be meeting with your team at least several times per week during the build and competition season (January – April). Many mature teams also meet throughout the school year, and some compete in off-season events during the summer. You, your family, and your available free time can decide together how much time you can devote to the program.
Where/When are the Competitions?
There are 9 District Qualifier events held across Ontario which run from Late February to Early April:
- Durham College District Event – Oshawa, ON
- Georgian College District Event – Barrie, ON
- Ryerson University District Event – Toronto, ON
- University of Waterloo District Event – Waterloo, ON
- York University District Event – Toronto, ON
- North Bay District Event – North Bay, ON
- Windsor-Essex Great Lakes District Event – Windsor, ON
- University of Western Ontario District Event – London, ON
- McMaster University District Event – Hamilton, ON
The top ranked teams are invited to attend the Ontario Provincial Championships held in Mississauga in Mid-April. 32 successful teams from the District Championship are then invited to represent Ontario at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit, Michigan in Late-April.