Starting a FIRST Robotics Competition Team
FIRST Robotics Competition gives high school students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. Teams of students are challenged to design, build, and program robots and compete for awards, while they also create a team identity, raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and advance respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.
Beyond game play itself, students are rewarded by team achievements – in robot design and programming, demonstrating community outreach, Gracious Professionalism®, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Winning is always secondary to the quality of the overall experience.
What does every FIRST Robotics Competition team need?
- 2 or more adult Mentors with both technical and non-technical expertise willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the build and competition season (and beyond)
- Recommended 10 or more high school-aged students willing to put in time after school (and maybe some weekends) and to do any job the team needs to succeed (lots of jobs available for all skill levels and interests)
- Suitable meeting location
- A standard kit of parts and a common set of rules issued by FIRST
- A community sponsor(s) that will help fund your efforts and provide other support
- The desire to learn, explore, strategize, build comradery, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be inclusive, and HAVE FUN!
Essential steps to starting a FIRST Robotics Competition team:
Find support resources
Contact us! We know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. We can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.
Enlist Coaches & Mentors
Each team needs 2 or more adult Mentors with both technical and non-technical expertise willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the season. We highly recommended two or more other adults to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, and other tasks.
Registered teams receive access to the FIRST Mentor Network. This complimentary resource helps teams find additional mentors for virtual or in-person support for one-time or season-long needs.
Register and Pay
Registering your team makes you a part of the huge FIRST Robotics Competition community! You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST and FIRST Washington, along with a temporary team number. Create a team roster to submit with your registration. (Please note that completing this stage of the process does not commit you to becoming a team.)
Registration Fees are paid directly to FIRST Washington to register for the 2024 FIRST® Robotics Competition Season and are non-refundable. You will receive an invoice directly from FIRST Washington to pay your FIRST Robotics Competition registration fees.
- Check:(USD funds only drawn on a U.S. bank). Please make sure that all checks remitted state your Program and Team or Account Number to enable swift & proper crediting.Make payable to: FIRST Washington
Addressed to: FIRST Washington
22426 72nd Ave S.
Kent, WA 98032
- Purchase Order (PO): Purchase orders may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.orgAll POs will be invoiced with Net 30-day terms.
- Commitment Letter from entity other than Schools or School Districts: On rare occasions and with pre-approval, we will consider accepting a commitment letter from an external party. Once approved, you will be notified as to the process.
Fundraising & Grants
FIRST believes all kids need equitable access to opportunity, relevant mentorship, and engagement to build a foundation for a bright future. We are available to assist teams in securing funding when extra help is needed. Recruit local businesses to sponsor your team. Many of them may already have a relationship with FIRST. We also have many fundraising opportunities you can explore.
Registered teams also receive complimentary access to FIRST fundraising tools and resources to help teams create their own opportunities. Grants and sponsorships for teams may also be available provided locally, regionally, and nationally by many corporations.