Join the FTC Team
Initially, we are looking for a few good people to help build a few good robots. But as FIRST says,"It’s way more than building robots". FIRST Tech Challenge teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”
Guided by adult Coaches and Mentors, students develop STREAM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook and creating presentations), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. Each season concludes with Super-Regional Championships and an exciting FIRST World Championship.
Here are some of the ways you might wish to Join Us.
Each FIRST Tech Challenge Team is composed of no more than 15 students aged 12 to 18 years old, in grades 7 through 12.
Want to know more?
FIRST uses the terms "Coach" and "Mentor" somewhat interchangeablely in their publications and on their website but both refer to adults which work with the team members. The critical need is for each FTC Team to have at least two (2) registered and vetted Coaches who will work with the team and provide continuity for the full season. The competitive season lasts from September to April (if the team advances from local to State to Regional to World championships.)
Mentors are adults which assist the team by sharing and teaching their skills on a single or multiple topics; for a single meeting or a whole season of activities. There is always a needs for STREAM-centric skills, but financial, business, leadership, and life skills are equally needed and essential.
Want to know more?
The FTC Competition is based on a sports model with teams competing head-to-head against other FTC across the State and potentially from around the world. Family and friends are always welcome to encourage and cheer the team on or attend any of the scheduled activities and events which are free to the public.
Being a member of an FTC Teams does place a financial responsibility upon the team members. A new, or rookie, team may require up to $3000 to register and equip a team. Much of the equipment is reusable from year to year so the cost in subsequent years is typically much less. A winning team will incur additional travel expenses as it advances to State, Regional, or if they are very successful, to the World Championship held in April at Detroit, MI.
In-kind donations of computers, tools, parts, office supplies, and even refreshments for meetings and activities all help the team and reduce the financial burden. A wishlist of items which would be helpful to the team will be posted on this page once a team is formed and registered.
We have not yet recruited and registered an FTC Team, nor have we formed the
Many teams are fortunate to have organizational or corporate sponsors. This includes organizations such a as 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as individual schools or school districts. smithSpace is being organized to assist, but business and corporate sponsors will also need to be recruited. If smithSpace can obtain a non-profit status, many companies can be solicited for contributions or may match contributions made by their employees. We will keep everyone informed of our progress toward this important goal.