FTC General Info

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What is FIRST?

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was 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 truely a "Sport-for-the-Mind".

Students who participate in FIRST use and reflect Gracious Professionalism, get real-world application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) concepts, and participate in an atmosphere that encourages team building, entrepreneurship and sportsmanship.


What is FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)?

FTC is one of the "competitions" of FIRST. FTC teams (5-10 students, ideally 7 students) build a robot using a specific set of parts, and compete in a specific game.

Check out the 2010 FTC "Get Over It" Video

The FTC 2010 game, Get Over It!, was announced September 11, 2010. The "build" time for the robot is the time between the release of the game and any regional competitions that the team chooses to attend. Regional competitions are held between November 2010 and March 2011.

Note: The University of Iowa will host an FTC State Competition on Saturday, February 26, 2011. 


What grades can participate?

FTC is considered a high school program, but if a middle school team has had several years of FLL experiences, and is ready to move up to their next challenge, then FTC 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.)

How much does it cost to have an FTC team?

If you are starting a new team, please take a moment to look at the sample budget.

The following sample budget is for a new team, purchasing one FTC competition kit and participating in one event. If your team chooses to purchase an additional kit and/or participate in multiple events, the fees would vary accordingly. Travel costs will vary due to the distance and time needed to travel to an event.

2010 FTC program registration fee - $275
2010 FTC competition kit - $1,000
Event registration fee - $0 - $300*
Travel costs (food, lodging, gas, etc.) - $0 - $500*
Team T-shirts (optional) - $0 - 150
Additional kit items (optional) - $0 - $500 

*Depends on what FTC Championship tournaments teams decide to attend. The FTC-Iowa tournament has a entry registration fee of $275. 

Any additional money that is spent is at the discretion of the team/coach/mentors. Please keep in mind, that a typical entrance fee for a regional competition is $275/team. Other expense examples include: travel costs, registration fees for competitions, and activity funds for students. A typical team budget ranges from $2,000-$4,000, but it is not a requirement.

To find support, we encourage schools to ask for support from local business and industries and service groups.


We want to start a team, now what?

Contact the Iowa Affiliate Partner, Rebecca Whitaker (319-335-5706) or ftc.iowa@gmail.com

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