Compete as a Team
Young people participating in FIRST® Tech Challenge learn to think, operate, and collaborate like innovators - applying STEM solutions to real-world issues. Teams develop strategies, build robots, and learn life skills - before competing head to head.
FIRST® Tech Challenge - the hardest fun you’ll ever have!Woodie Flowers, Professor of Engineering MIT
FIRST® Tech Challenge is a six-month long programme where teams of young people supported by a mentor, build a robot to tackle a defined challenge – before competing in a national competition. Teams will:
- Design, build, and programme robots
- Apply STEM solutions to real-world issues
- Collaborate in alliances and compete in tournaments
- Engage with local employers, universities, and industry professionals
- Develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and team-building skills
Each September a new game for the season is launched to teams around the world.
The 2018-19 game
Ready your robots to explore uncharted planets in ROVER RUCKUS℠ presented by Qualcomm Incorporated. In the 2018-19 FIRST® Tech Challenge season teams will explore STEM concepts through a challenging ‘out-of-this-world’ space-themed game.
The launch of the game is accompanied by detailed rules, guidance, and support for teams:
Registering a team
Teams register online, paying a £99 non-refundable fee to secure their place in the national championships, access to regional tournaments, and online resources.
- Comprise of no more than 15 participants (we recommend minimum 10) aged 12 to 18
- Be able to meet weekly during term-time for two to three hours
- Have at least one team coach acting as facilitator and mentor
No prior robotics, programming, or engineering skills are required – and participants will ideally have a mixture of skillsets, backgrounds, and interests.
Roles on the team are mapped to professional careers and include strategist, designer, software engineer, project manager, communications specialist.
Role of mentor
An adult team leader (DBS checked) is required for teams to participate – this is typically a teacher, parent or employee of a local business acting as mentor.
- Teams pay a £99 fee to reserve their place – this includes free entry to the UK & Ireland championship event
- Registration closes 1 November 2018
- Each standardised robotics kit costs £800
- As a charity we make no profit or mark up on the kits and negotiate a bulk discount which is passed on directly to teams
- One kit is required per team
- Kits are reusable year after year – the game changes, the kit does not
Subsidies and loan kits
- Funding is available to eligible teams
- Applications are accepted on a rolling basis
- Simple short form and a 2-minute video submission
Teams can find a sample budget with a breakdown of potential team costs on the resources page.