FTC and STEM Scale-Up

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, established mid-2011, makes STEM Education a priority in Iowa. For their first year, the overall goal is to increase the number of students who participate in STEM programs.  Through a competitive application process, a review committee selected 12 programs to be "scaled-up" to all communities in Iowa. FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) was selected to be one of twelve STEM Scale-Up programs endorsed by the Iowa Governors STEM Advisory Council. 

The STEM Scale-Up Applications were due Sept. 14, 2012. Awardees were announced Oct. 1, 2012. This page is for those sites who were awarded STEM Scale-Up for FIRST Tech Challenge.

What Is covered by the Scale-Up funds for FTC?

The goal is to eliminate as much of the financial burden for an FTC team. The FTC funds are for the following categories:

  • FIRST Registration Fee = $275 (If this is not already covered by a Rockwell Collins grant)
  • FTC Field Equipment  - field perimeter and softtiles, reusable from season to season (Please complete the "Items Have Been Received" form.)
  • Game Specific Field Equipment (see below) = $300
  • Laptop computer = up to $600
  • Stipend for the FTC Coach = $600
  • Additional robot parts, beyond the FTC competition kit = $1,500
  • Event Registration Fees ($150/each) = $150 or $300

In addition, if teams/applicants host a PD event, they will also receive the following:

  • Compensation to teams who host non-tournament events = $500
  • Stipend for FTC Experts to conduct PD during non-tournament events = $700

What is the difference between "FTC Field Equipment" and "Game Specific Field Equipment"?

FTC Field Equipment is the field tiles and perimeter. When your organization receives the Field Tiles & Perimeter, we do ask that you let us know by completing the "Items Have Been Received" form. Awarded FTC Scale-Up recipients will automatically receive these. FTC-Iowa has ordered them for all FTC teams in Iowa. No futher action is due on the part of the school/team to receive the field tiles and perimeter.

The "Game Specific Field Elements" are things that are specific to "Ring It Up", and other field items. The Bill of Materials, for Ring It Up, is a great starting point for items.

Ideas for "Game Specific Field Elements"

If you have purchased all of the items for Ring It Up (above), and are looking for other items to buy with the $300 "Game Specific Field Equipment", we recommend purchasing a Linksys E1000 or E1200 router (~$60), two master IR beacons, a 7-port powered hub ($30-$40), gaffers tape, and some game controllers ($25-$30/ea). Many of these items can be bought online at different vendors. Please note: the $300 will not be able to purchase all of the listed items, these are just listed as suggestions.

For a complete list, please download the Field Electronics Spreadsheet.

What are some ideas for the $1,500 in "Extra Robot Parts"?

Teams have the flexibility to purchase items that are needed beyond the kit-of-parts. Coach Dan Niemitalo (#4150) has compilied a list of robot parts (including link to vendor websites) and an explanation of the part recommendations. Please keep in mind, these are the recommendations from an experienced FTC coach. They are not requirements. Also, AndyMark is selling game controllers, which can be covered under the "Extra Robot Parts".

How will my organization or school know how much funding we will receive? Also, how will we receive these funds?

Awarded organizations or schools must carefully read their "Congratulatory Letter" that was emailed to them. This has the total amount your team was funded and a detailed description of how the funds will be sent to your organization. Please keep in mind, these funds are cost-reimbursement - schools or organizations must first pay the cost and then file reimbursement. Please read the letter.

We have fulfilled all of the required elements for the grant. What do we do next?

Your organization should have received a PO # from The University of Iowa. When your team reaches the "End of Season", you may file for reimbursment agains that PO #. Please be aware - your organization will only receive funds up to the amount they were given and will only receive for designated elements. Do not try to seek reimbursement for additional expenses.

When you are ready to submit reimbursement, create an invoice. The invoice must contain the following:

  • Purchase Order # or Notation that invoice was paid by credit card.
  • Invoice date
  • Amount
  • Invoice number
  • Remit address
  • Payment terms
  • Detailed itemization of charges
  • Sales tax should be excluded from invoice amount at the University of Iowa is tax exempt.

All invoices must be sent to: Rebecca Whitaker ( on or before March 10, 2013.