The FIRST Robotics Competition gives high school students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. Challenged to design and build a robot using a standard “kit of parts” and within a common set of rules to play a sophisticated field game − all in just six weeks− brings out the best in students and adults alike. The robot “game” changes every season and is always exciting.
FIRST redefines “winning” by rewarding teams for achievements not necessarily gained on the field of play − excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism®, and the ability to overcome obstacles are all recognized with awards. Winning is always secondary to the quality of the overall experience.
If you would like to start a FIRST Robotics Competition team in your area, we welcome you and promise to provide you with all the support, ideas, and encouragement you need to succeed!
Remember: NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED AND YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!
7 essential steps to starting a FIRST Robotics Competition team:
1. Find support resources
First, familiarize yourself with the FIRST Robotics Competition. Then locate your region’s Regional Director or FIRST Senior Mentor. These people know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.
2. Enlist Coaches & Mentors
Each team needs at least one adult Mentor with technical expertise willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the build and competition season (and beyond). Also highly recommended are two or more other adults to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, and other tasks.
3. Register and Pay
Registering your team’s information makes you a part of the huge FIRST Robotics Competition community. You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST, along with a temporary team number in preparation for event registration in the fall. Create a team roster link to submit with your registration. (Please note that completing this stage of the process does not commit you to becoming a team.)
Registering includes event registration and ordering the Kit of Parts. We’ve made it easy to pay your team’s fees with favorable terms, online payments, discounts for rookie teams, and more.
4. Build your team
Find and invite at least 10 students who want to be part of a robotics team (the easiest part!). Be sure to emphasize that no technical skills are required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Recruit all kinds of talents, not just engineering and electronics.
5. Raise funds
Your team will need a steady supply of funds. Recruit local businesses to sponsor you. Many of them may already have a relationship with FIRST. We also have many fundraising opportunities you can explore. Grants are available for both rookie and underserved teams.
6. Learn about safety
At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with our Youth Protection Program (YPP). Take the time to watch our videos and read our youth protection materials.
7. Time to Build Robots!
Part of the fun is designing and building your robot and FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, or fun activities for your team.