What is FIRST?
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. FIRST gives students the opportunity to develop the “muscle between their ears” and to gain experiences that will affect their future. It is truly a “Sport-for-the-Mind”. Students who participate in FIRST use and reflect Gracious Professionalism®, get real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts, and participate in an atmosphere that encourages team building, entrepreneurship and sportsmanship. Check out the other FIRST programs and learn more here.
What is FTC?
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is an amazing competition for students ready to take on high-school-level robotics. Students experience the power, excitement, and fun of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with hands-on, minds-on activities – all with robots!
Teams of middle- and high-school students design, build, and program robots with both autonomous and driver-controlled modes. They take these robots to local and regional tournaments, competing as Alliances against other teams. The tournaments feature the same excitement and pressure experienced in more traditional high-school athletics. Teams that win at the Championship level advance to the FTC Super Regional and possibly the annual World Championship.
FTC teams are adult-led and student-driven, allowing each student on a team to actively participate and engage in the engineering process. Students work with a re-usable robotics kit to design, build, and program robots. FTC empowers students, building confidence, critical decision-making, leadership, and teamwork.
FTC participants are introduced to the engineering process and create and maintain an Engineering Notebook. They develop hands-on programming and rapid-prototyping experience, and learn the value of problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills. FTC also creates powerful relationships between the young people who compete and the Volunteers and Mentors who participate. FTC students are eligible for more than $10 million in college scholarships.
Competition kits are reusable and affordable. Teams can be school-based, homeschool-based, part of an afterschool program, or organized by community groups such as 4-H, the Girl Scouts, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. FTC kits can also be used in the classroom as a great learning tool.
There are numerous ways to get involved in FTC. Individuals can mentor teams, volunteer at events, or join committees to help organize FTC events. FTC is supported by a growing network of Sponsors that provide funding, mentorship, time, talent, equipment, and more to make FTC a reality. FTC is privileged to have the support of some of the most respected organizations in the world. They understand the importance of nurturing the next generation of technology leaders!
Students get to:
Design, build, and program robots
Apply real-world math and science concepts
Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
Earn a place at the Super Regional Tournament and perhaps, the World Championship
Qualify for over $20million in college scholarships