FIRST Tech Challenge and Engineering Problem Solving: A High School Robotics Course

Equip your students with the skills needed for tomorrow’s world, today.

Preparing today’s students for the challenges of tomorrow is not an easy task. To develop the next generation of innovative thinkers and tinkerers it will take transforming learning from standardized to personalized, from passive to hands-on, from one correct answer to open-ended problem solving, and from individual to collaborative learning.

This is why education industry leaders FIRST, Intelitek, and Pitsco Education are proud to announce “FTC in the Classroom”, a program designed not only to engage students in rich, relevant STEM content but to invigorate the learning experience in schools so our future workforce will stand equipped with the knowledge, soft skills, and experiences to thrive in our global economy.


Develop your student’s STEM skills through a relevant robotics curriculum

“FTC in the Classroom” is a classroom solution designed to enable High School teachers to quickly and confidently implement an integrated STEM program that delivers an enriching and engaging project-based learning experience for all students.

Included in the solution is 60 hours of project-based learning curriculum that embeds Physics, Math, Coding, Teamwork, Creative Problem Solving, Design, and Engineering Principles across a series of NGSS and CSTA standards-based activities; online professional development course and learning management system; individual licenses to Coderz, an easy to use, programming environment; a complete classroom set of TETRIX robotics hardware, along with sensors and controllers; and a full FIRST Tech Challenge competition set and team registration enabling students to take what they have learned into the real-world competitive robotics environment. Plus, upon course completion students can achieve official certification from FIRST and dual credit from the University of Iowa.

This approachable, all-in-one program comes with the tools needed to create an evergreen STEM program that enables the building of career-readiness skills for students – whatever direction their education and career paths may take them.

Course Objectives

This course introduces the student to an engineering problem solving and design. The course is taught in the high schools by state certified teachers. Projects introduce students to common elements of engineering problem solving and design such as the application of organizing principles to describe engineered systems, economic analysis upon which to base decisions, and technical presentation and analysis of data. This provides an opportunity for students to apply common elements of problem solving in the solution of engineering problems in the context of a structured problem solving and design process.

Course Learning Goals

  1. Students will learn about the importance of robotics, specifically forces, mechanical work and energy.

  2. Students will be introduced to basic programming using Java. Programs will be run in simulation and on a physical robot.

  3. Students will gain proficiency in using selected elements and skills common to engineering problem solving and design.

  4. Students will become aware of the role of life-cycle engineering as part of a design process.

  5. The students will learn how to apply a structured engineering problem solving and design process consisting of several steps.

  6. Students will recognize the importance of economic considerations in the design process and will be able to apply basic economic relationships in making decisions.

  7. Students will learn to use several engineering software "tools" useful in problem solving.

  8. The student will be able identify and describe selected engineering systems and subsystems, and apply the appropriate fundamentals and unifying concepts to solve problems.

  9. Students will improve their communication skills through oral and written reports.

  10. Students will solve open-ended problems working in teams.

  11. The course aligns with the following NGSS units:

    1. Forces & Interactions  

    2. Energy  

    3. Engineering Design  

    4. Science & Engineering Practices  

  12. The course aligns with the following CSTA units

    1. Computers in Science in the Modern World

    2. Computer Science Concepts & Practice

  13. This course aligns with Common Core Standards

    1. Standards for Mathematical Practice

    2. Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

  14. This course aligns with 21st Century Skills



This course will be taught by State Certified teachers, under the direction of

Rebecca Whitaker

3124 Seamans Center
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa  52242

Additional information is available for the following: