What is FIRST ® Tech Challenge?

For Kids aged 12 – 18

FIRST Tech Challenge teams (up to 15 team members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate 18 inch x 18 inch x 18 inch robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format on a 12 foot x 12 foot playing field. 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.

The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards.

Can I start my own Team?

Yes! You’ll need a few things to get started:

  • 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!

For the 2019/2020 Season in Ontario, FIRST Canada is running FTC as a pilot program, with a single competition and a very limited number of teams. To register for one of the 36 slots available, please sign up through FIRST Canada.

When does FIRST Tech Challenge happen?

The FIRST® Tech Challenge season starts in May, when teams generally form and registration opens. Season kick-off is in early September when the season’s game is announced. The design and build season runs from September to January.

As FIRST Canada is running FTC as a pilot program for the 2019/2020 Season, Ontario will host a single Provincial Championship on January 12th, 2020 at Durham College in Oshawa, with two winners earning spots at FIRST Championship at the end of April. There are also many off-season events where teams participate, strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun!