2015 FTC

FIRST  Tech Challenge in MN (MN FTC) is part of an international robotics program that includes more than 3000 teams globally.

Teams of up to fifteen students collaborate to build and program a robot that competes on a 12’ by 12’ field. Each year the challenge is designed to challenge students to think critically and expand their knowledge of the engineering process.

This team-based, hands-on, competitive robotics program provides challenging and exciting learning opportunities for young people. It develops teamwork and leadership skills and promotes excitement in science and technology.

The FTC challenge is released at the beginning of September. Teams typically meet two to three times per week and participate in qualifying events from November through January.  Teams do not have a restrictive build season.

  • Robot Game
    Teams design, build and program a robot to compete on a 12′ x 12′ field in an alliance format. Teams may participate in multiple competitions and an iterative design process is encouraged.
  • Engineering Notebook
    Teams develop and use this tool to document their robot design iterations, programming changes, community outreach, team brainstorming sessions, and team meetings.
  • Community Outreach
    Teams connect with both their local and engineering communities.  Outreach occurs in many ways, such as; starting and mentoring other FIRST teams, demonstrating robotics at the local library or company, volunteering in a school, and volunteering at an official FIRST competition. There are an infinite number of other possibilities.
FTC TEAM REQUIREMENTS
Teams com in all shapes and sizes, however here are the basic requirements.
  • 2 adult coaches or mentors.
  • 3-15 participants in grades 7-12
  • Teams may be of mixed age and gender
  • Teams can be a group of friends or formed through an organization!

FORMING A TEAM

  • 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! Coaches only need a desire to learn, have fun and work with the students, NOT a background in engineering or computer programming.

REGISTERING YOUR TEAM
Registration is a two-step process: register nationally THEN locally

  • National Registration with FIRST opens yearly in May.
  • Minnesota Registration with High Tech Kids opens at the end of September. Teams must be registered nationally before they can register locally.

CHOOSE LEAGUE PLAY or QUALIFIER PLAY

  • Teams in Minnesota have the choice of participating in a League or choosing the traditional route of Qualifiers only.
  • Teams choosing League Play must “opt in” no later than July 15th.
  • Teams choosing Qualifier Play do not need to “opt in”, teams are categorized as Qualifier Play by default.

FINDING AN EXISTING TEAM
Due to our partnership with FIRST, we are unable to place students on teams or share coach contact information.

National Registration Opens May
Challenge Release/Kick Off September
Minnesota Registration October
Minnesota League Play October-January
Minnesota Qualifier Play November-January
Minnesota State Championship (for advancing teams) February
World Championship (for advancing teams) April

Teams typically meet 2-3 times per week.
FTC teams do NOT have a restrictive build season.

High Tech Kids offers two types of tournament play for FTC teams in Minnesota. Each type of tournament play is designed to serve different kinds of teams who are seeking different experiences with our robotics program. Teams choose to participate in league play or qualifier play.

LEAGUE PLAY

  • 3 scored meets every 2-3 weeks from October – December
  • Meets are organized by volunteer league coordinators
  • 8-12 teams per league
  • Focus is on the iterative design process. League format promotes informal rapid iteration between meets, teaching students how to fail quickly and learn from mistakes.
  • All league teams participate in 1 League Only qualifying tournament in January.
  • Teams advance from the qualifying tournament to the MN Stratasys State Tournament in January.

QUALIFIER PLAY

  • Teams may participate in up to 2 qualifiers, as space allows.
  • Qualifiers are offered from November to January.
  • 24 – 36  teams per qualifier
  • Focus is on a holistic event experience, including complete judging. Internal team iteration is encouraged between events.
  • Teams advance from qualifying tournaments to the MN Stratasys State Tournament in February.

FIRST-YEAR TEAM
The average cost for Team of 15: $140/student.

FIRST ® National Team Registration $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota League Play Fee $300**
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Play Fee (per event) $175**
**Teams choose EITHER League Play or Qualifier Play.
REV FTC Competition Set $380
Control and Communication Set $220
Electronics Modules and Sensors Set $125
Additional Parts 0-$500
AndyMark Game Elements (optional) Full-field: $450
Partial-field: $340
Total:    ~$2100
Additional costs for advancing teams:
High Tech Kids Minnesota State Championship $300

SECOND-YEAR TEAM
The average cost for Team of 15: $100/student.

FIRST ® National Team Registration $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota League Play Fee $300**
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Play Fee (per event) $175**
**Teams choose EITHER League Play or Qualifier Play.
Additional Parts $0-500
AndyMark Game Elements (optional) Full-field: $450
Half-field: $340
Total:    ~$1500
Additional costs for advancing teams:
High Tech Kids Minnesota State Championship $300

TEAM SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS

High Tech Kids offers a very limited number of scholarships to Minnesota teams. Please see the scholarship and grant page for details regarding the current opportunities.

Minnesota Scholarship and Grant Information

MN FIRST ® Tech Challenge sponsors