What is FTC? and How to get started?

FTC = FIRST Tech Challenge.

Learn more about FTC here


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by inventor Dean Kamen. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills. You can read more about the Impact of FIRST.

How to get started as an FTC Team

Step1: Get together to form a team. You know why you want to join, and what’s involved in cost, time and commitment – even at high level – by now.

You are inspired after attending an information session at your school ( like 2 events X-BOTS hosted: one in June, one in September at STEM night) or in your community ( like the ones X-BOTS hosted at Virginia Science Fair or STEM Symposium).

Step2:  Decide on roles and responsibilities and sign up. Know the costs and timelines. Get a rough plan on when you can compete. Where to host. Who are the coaches/Asst. coaches. 

Step3: Sign up as new coaches here on TIMS ( Team Info Mgmt System): https://my.usfirst.org/ftc/tims/site.lasso

First, you must sign up to participate in FIRST Youth Protection Policy. Once you pass YPP checks, you are free to register a team, pay membership dues, and order the kit. We will go over these steps ( and following) if you like.

Screenshot 2015-09-30 07.48.51

All details on starting team are here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/start-a-team

Mentor Manual: Read this

Coaches and mentors can sign up for training http://ftctraining.usfirst.org/

Game Resources

Visit http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/game

From the above link:

Game Manual1: Must read rules about Robot Materials you can use, and awards

Game Manual2: Must read rules about the game: scoring and penalties

For Q&A on the game: ftcforum.usfirst.org/forum.php

Training Resources ( TBD)

Get some training here:



4. Brainstorm

5. Start Building and Programming

6. Register for a Competition ( opens mid-October in Virginia)

7. Attend a scrimmage

8. Attend a tournament


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