What is FIRST?
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. FIRST gives students the opportunity to develop the "muscle between their ears" and to gain experiences that will affect their future. It is truly a "Sport-for-the-Mind". Students who participate in FIRST use and reflect Gracious Professionalism, get real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts, and participate in an atmosphere that encourages team building, entrepreneurship and sportsmanship. Check out the other FIRST programs.
What is FIRST Tech Challenge?
FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year, and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors, and volunteers are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
The Robot is Just the Vehicle
Although the object is to build a robot, students who participate in FIRST Tech Challenge learn so much more. Students learn about working in a team environment, effective communication skills, being able to fail and succeed at the same time, and competing fairly while being supportive of their competition. Students who participate in FIRST Tech Challenge are well-rounded citizens of the world.
What grades can participate in FIRST Tech Challenge?
FIRST Tech Challenge is considered a high school program, but if a middle school team has had several years of FIRST LEGO League experiences, and is ready to move up to their next challenge, then FIRST Tech Challenge might be the right fit. Teams should be careful not to have a middle school student on a team with a upper-class high school student.
Upcoming FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championships
The FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championship is a culmination event for many of the teams in Iowa. Teams must qualify through either League Championships (2015-2016 Season) or the Super Qualifier Tournaments (2016-2017 Season) to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championship.
- February 24-25, 2017, Marriott Hotel, Coralville
- February 16-17, 2018, Marriott Hotel, Coralville
- February 22-23, 2019, Marriott Hotel, Coralville
For more information about the Iowa Championship, including schedule and a FAQ, please visit the Championship webpage.
Upcoming North Super Regional Championship
The North Super Regional Championship is a culmination event for many of the teams in the midwest. Teams must qualify through their respective regions Championship to advance to the FTC North Super Regional.
- March, 2017 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- March, 2018 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- March, 2019 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
For more information about the North Super Regional Championship, including schedule and a FAQ, please visit the North Super Regional webpage.
Team Email Blast Archive
Have you missed a team blast? If so, check out the archive of the newsletters!