FIRST Tech Challenge

FIRST Tech Challenge teams (2-15 members, ages 12-18) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”

Guided by adult Coaches and Mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. Each season concludes with Super-Regional Championships and an exciting FIRST Championship.

Students Get To

  • Learn from professional engineers
  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design
  • Learn and use sophisticated software and hardware
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
  • Earn a place in the World Championship
  • Qualify for over $12 million in college scholarships
First Tech Challenge Logo

AGES 12-18


Number Of Students: Up to 15
Total Start Up Cost: ~$2500**
Annual Recurring Costs (Registration Fee): ~$340*
Qualifying Tournament Registration: ~$150x2
Current Ontario Rookie Year Grant: $200


Number Of Students: Up to 24
Total Start Up Cost: ~$1100 + $1280 per robot
Annual Recurring Costs (Registration Fee): ~$1100
Qualifying Tournament Registration: N/A
Current Ontario Rookie Year Grant: $2000

A. Annual registration includes the following seasonal materials, which are updated each year to reflect the new theme.


Mentor Manual: Yes
Engineering Notebooks: Yes
Class Pack Curriculum: N/A
Game Pieces: Full or Partial Purchased Separately


Mentor Manual: Yes
Engineering Notebooks: Yes
Class Pack Curriculum: Yes
Game Pieces: Class Pack Mini Game Set Pack Included

Mentor Manual: View Sample

Engineering Notebooks: View Sample

Engineering Notebook Templates: It is used to record brainstorming and prototyping sessions, observations and innovations. The templates provide a base to help students organize and present their ideas.

Partial/Full Competition Game Pieces: Purchasing a partial set of game pieces is highly recommended when competing in the competition game because it enhances the brainstorming, prototyping, innovating and driver practice experience.

Tech Challenge Photo

Class Pack Curriculum: The Class Pack Curriculum includes 12 online modules that include lesson plans, teacher guides, videos, PowerPoints, physical simulations and rubrics. The program has the depth and breadth to accommodate a full semester of content but is flexible to the teachers needs. (For grades 7-12)

Class Pack Mini Game:: It is a scaled back version of the competition game. It includes a manual and replica 8 x 8 playing field with two alliance zones from current competitive season challenge. This is included in the Classpack Registration and is shipped out by FIRST Headquarters.

B. You will need a FIRST Tech Challenge Started Kit, Electronics Set and Controls Set which are purchased separately as well as an appropriate laptop or tablet to program with. The kits are a one time investment as they are reusable year after year and can be ordered at any time but it is ideal to order it before the season starts for extra prep time. The kits contain sheet metal, motors and sensors that can be used to create a competitive robot. The robot can be programmed using Blocks, OnBotJava or Android Studios. In Canada, the Starter Kit is available from Studica. The Electronics and Controls Kits are available from REV Robotics.

Number of SPIKE Essentials Cost
1 per 4-6 students
~$1280 each**

C.Support throughout the season will come through i) emails from Headquarters in New Hampshire and FIRST Robotics Canada, ii) Mentor/Teacher SLACK Channel, iii) training videos & tutorials, iv) FTC SIM (online coding simulator) and v) community built resources.

D.This year’s (2023-24) theme is CENTERSTAGE presented by Raytheon Technologies. Teams will raise the curtain on the power of design, creativity, and precision to create all-new experiences.

Center stage logo

Competition Team Registration: May - October
Class Pack Registration Opens: All Year Round
Challenge Is Released: September
Qualifying Tournaments: November - December
Provincial Championships: January/February
World Championship: April

First Robotics Kit

Start an Individual Team

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Find a Team

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Team Costs and Grants

Learn more about the costs to run a team, team payments and grant that could help you

Mentor Talks

Archived virtual discussion for FRC and FTC mentors.


Find all the resources to help you with your team

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