FAQ: About

Who can start a FIRST® Tech Challenge team?

Anyone with an interest in changing lives through STEM can start a team – educators, parents, anyone with the time and motivation. Most teams in Washington are school-based. Others are formed through community organizations such as 4-H, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, homeschool groups, religious organizations, and even neighborhood groups of friends. If you want to start a school-based team, contact a teacher or administrator to get started.

What is this years challenge?

We’re pushing FIRST® City forward and up into the skies – and shifting the way we think about our place in the galaxy. Check out the official game animation for the FIRST® Tech Challenge SKYSTONE season Presented by Qualcomm.

How old does my child need to be to join a FIRST® Tech Challenge team?

The FIRST® Tech Challenge program is designed for young people ages 12-18 and grades 7-12.

What are the minimum requirements for a FIRST® Tech Challenge team?

What does every FIRST® Tech Challenge team need?

– Two 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!

What is the FIRST® Tech Challenge?

Each September FIRST® our parent organization headquartered in New Hampshire, provides teams across the globe with a new challenge that focuses on real-world issues that scientists and engineers are facing today.

Students work together to design, build, and program their robots, preparing for the competition season that begins around November. Competition season can last through May or April depending on how far the team advances.

In addition to designing, building, and programming a robot for competition, teams will have to raise funds, design and maintain the team brand, and work to compete for specific awards. The students will also have to create an engineering notebook that documents their journey through the season.

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