Design, build, test & program robots
First® Tech Challenge is a student-centered program that focuses on giving students a unique and stimulating experience. Each year, teams engage in a new game where they design, build, test, and program autonomous and driver operated robots that must perform a series of tasks. To learn more about First® Tech Challenge and other FIRST® Programs, visit www.firstinspires.org or, watch this overview video - What’s First® Tech Challenge?
Lenoir County Public Schools FIRST® Tech Challenge Teams
Lenoir County Public Schools launched its FIRST® Tech Challenge Teams in the 2020-21 school year and is recruiting for Year Two! The teams are made up of students from all LCPS middle and high schools. LCPS students in grades 7 - 12 are eligible to participate. Students who are interested in participating must complete this form. (Funding for this program was made possible by the NCDPI Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Award.) First® Tech Challenge Student Interest Form
What does it mean to be a FIRST® Tech Challenge Team Member?
First® Tech Challenge teams are made up of no more than 15 players each. All team members work together to complete the challenge while demonstrating the core value of First® Tech Challenge, Gracious Professionalism®. First® uses this word to describe the program’s intent. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. For more information, watch Dr. Woodie Flowers explain Gracious Professionalism® in this video - Gracious Professionalism with Woodie Flowers
There are many roles that are needed during the season and at a competition. Team members should learn about the different roles and decide who will fill those roles. These roles are grouped into sub-teams and a team member can be part of multiple sub-teams.
This team studies the game rules to help the team develop a strategy to be more successful during the season. They keep track of changes to the game rules and make sure that the team’s robot and strategy complies with current roles.
The build team helps design, document, and implement the mechanisms needed to complete the desired tasks during a match. This may consist of a Drivetrain and a Mechanism sub-team.
The programming team helps write, document, and test the computer programs or “op modes” needed to complete the desired tasks during a match. They manage the source code to keep track of versions and backup copies.
This team helps plan the season schedule (when is the first competition, where will it be located, what do we need to bring?). These team members help organize and keep track of kit components and tools. In addition, they help order/procure the items needed for the season.
Communication & Marketing Team
The communications and marketing team helps document team activity as part of the engineering notebook. This team keeps track of intermediate and long-term goals. The team develops promotional materials to publicize the team to parents, the community, and sponsors.
Fundraising & Business Team
The fundraising and business team helps track budgetary goals. This team helps identify and approach potential sponsors. The team develops a plan to raise money and resources for the season. In addition, this team helps identify and recruit new mentors and team members.
What is the Time Commitment for FTC?
The First® Tech Challenge team season runs from September to March, ending with championship matches. Teams will practice/meet at least once per week in the beginning with additional meetings scheduled as needed closer to the competition season. For a suggested timeline of the season, click here.
I am interested in being a First® Tech Challenge Team Mentor/Volunteer
What is a mentor? Mentoring is an important part of the FIRST® program and largely contributes to the program’s success. Every adult on a FIRST® team is a mentor, simply because he or she leads through guidance and example. It is important to remember students need guidance, structure, and encouragement, and most of all, a fun experience!
- Requires no special skills, but should have patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn alongside the team.
- Is a person who works with the team in their area of expertise, for as little as one team meeting or as many as all of them.
- Helps provide valuable support and serves as a resource in their own area of specialty.
- Directs the process the team follows to solve the yearly game challenge, without providing the solution themselves.
- Is a coach, teacher, motivator, and facilitator.
In FIRST® Tech Challenge, it is important that mentors and students are equal and that the relationship is a partnership. Each person works collaboratively towards a mutual and beneficial goal. To succeed, all the mentors and team members must commit to this. Mentors should also be willing to acquire some basic knowledge of programming and robot building.