How to Start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

WHAT MAKES UP A TEAM?
 
FTC teams come in all shapes and sizes, however the basic requirements are:
  • 2 adult coaches or mentors.
  • 3-15 participants in grades 7-12
  • Teams may be of mixed age and gender.
  • While teams DO NOT need to be formed from an organization, and may be just a group of friends, many teams are formed as after school programs.  
 
FORMING A TEAM 

Finding Participants and Coaches

  • Hold an informational meeting at your school or organization in the spring or early September to gauge interest.
  • Recruit coaches and/or co-coaches.  Two coaches per team and no experience is necessary! No need to be an engineer or computer programmer, just the desire to learn, have fun, and work with the kids! 
  • Recruit mentors from local businesses. Many teams reach out to their local communities for assistance. 

Register your new team!

  • Registration is a two step process: National Registration AND MN Registration. 
  • National Registration with FIRST® opens yearly in May.
  • MN Registration with High Tech Kids opens at the end of September. Teams must be registered nationally before they can register locally. 
FTC SEASON
National Registration  May
Challenge Release/Kick Off September
Minnesota Registration October
Minnesota Qualifying Events November - January
Minnesota State Championship February
North Super Regional March
World Championship April
 

  Teams typically meet twice per week.
FTC teams do NOT have a restrictive build season. 

Don't know where to start? See these resources from
FTC Mentor Manual
FTC Quick Start Video Guide 
 
 HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

FIRST-YEAR TEAM (for a team of 15, costs average $134/student)

FIRST® National team registration  $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota League Fee (includes one Qualifier) $300**
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Tournament Fee (per event) $175** 
TETRIX FTC Competition Set $580
Control & Communication Set $265
Electronic Modules $ Sensors Set $150
Andy Mark Game Elements (optional) $480 (full field)
$270 (half field)
$150 (quarter field)
TOTAL: ~ $2000
 
SECOND-YEAR TEAM (For a team of 15, costs average $87/student)
FIRST® National team registration $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota League Fee (includes one Qualifier) $300**
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Tournament Fee (per event) $175**
Additional parts  $0-500
Andy Mark Game Elements (optional) $480 (full field)
$270 (half field)
$150 (quarter field)
TOTAL: ~ $1300*
 *Does not include $300 MN State Championship Fee (for advancing teams)
or shipping and handling fees
**Teams choose EITHER Legaue Play or Qualifier Play. 
 
SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
High Tech Kids offers a very limited number of scholarships. These scholarships are one time only, and not renewable. Preference will be given to teams comprised of underrepresented youth, rural  or urban teams and all girl teams. 
 
Boston Scientific also offers special grants to employees and partner schools.
 Information regarding both financial opportunities are on our scholarship page.