What is FIRST Robotics Competition?
Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting robotics-based competition that teams engineering professionals and high-school students to solve real-world engineering problems in fun, rewarding, and inspiring ways.
We call FIRST Robotics Competition the varsity Sport for the Mind™. High school students call it “a life-changing experience.” FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams explore possible career paths as they work together to design, build, and program robots in competitions designed by engineering professionals.
It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get! Scroll down the page for more program information!
Up Coming Events and announcements!
KCMT (Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament) is back and scheduled for Oct 13-16, 2023. Check out our KCMT Page for more information and registration.
Additional events are hosted throughout the year, check out our announcement section.
Our coaches training workshop was a HUGE success! To see the presentations and photos from this event go to our googledrive.
Mentor Meet up
Don’t forget about our monthly mento meetup. This is a great time to catch up with other mentors and plan for our 2024 season. Join us here on this Teams meeting.
Motor Rule Change
Please read this FIRST® Robotics Competition Blog about a robot rule change for the 2024 season
October 19th, 2023
Drive Base & Black Tote Opt. Out closes – go to your dashboard to select the correct option for your team.
The FIRST Core Values
- Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
- Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
- Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
- Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
- Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
- Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most teams are associated with high schools and follow the academic calendar, similar to a year-round sport with team meetings after school.
Although recruiting is open year-round, most teams focus on recruiting efforts when school resumes after the summer break. Team meetings typically start in the fall as occasional or weekly meetings. Business concepts, build practice and orientation occur at this time. Teams also work on award submissions.
The new game is released during a kickoff event in early January and teams begin to build in earnest. Teams meet multiple times weekly working on the robot build, programming, strategy, and business plan. This period lasts about 10 weeks or until the team’s first regional competition.
The annual registration fee includes participation in one official regional competition. Teams can attend additional regional competitions. Colorado FIRST organizes a regional competition to give all teams the opportunity to compete in their home region. Although many teams travel out of state to attend additional regionals, we encourage every team to compete in at least one local event. Local regionals occur in March, with about six teams advancing from each to attend the FIRST Championship in Houston in late April.
Regional competitions in the Colorado FIRST region provide a full tournament experience complete with the official FIRST field, Student Ambassadors, Scholarship and Sponsorship Row, opening and closing ceremonies, high-octane lights, professional DJ, and more.
Teams also may participate in off-season events to strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun!
Any organization can start a team.
Check your local school first to see if a team already exists or if there is interest in starting one. Some teams accept students from other schools, so also check the section below to see teams operating nearby.
Although FIRST does not match students with existing teams or provide team contact information for several reasons, here are some ways to connect with others:
• Volunteer at FIRST events to meet coaches and mentors
• Share the FIRST for Educators with your school to encourage the formation of new teams
• Post on our Facebook Page and ask if coaches have openings.
Costs for forming a FIRST Robotics Competition team can vary. Annual fees for team registration, event registration and the robot kit of parts, and event participation run $5,000 -$6,000 ($6000 for a new team). This fee is paid directly to FIRST headquarters.
Additional costs for travel, food, team shirts, equipment and machinery, shop supplies, building materials and stock, and other optional items will vary by team.
Teams raise funds in varied ways. Many teams offer STEM workshops and camps for a fee. Some create small businesses as part of their team business plan. Some use traditional fundraising ideas such as pancake breakfasts and leaf raking. Many apply for grants and some get support from their school district or foundation. Some receive donations from area companies, especially those where mentors are employed.
Most team budgets in our area range from $8,000 to $50,000 annually. Team sizes also vary widely, ranging from eight to 50 students.
Like any sport or other after-school activity, the more time you invest, the better you will become.
Typically, teams meet several times per week during the build and competition season (January-April). During the season, the pressure is on, so be prepared to also spend some nights and weekends helping your team. Many longstanding teams also meet throughout the school year, and some compete in off-season events during the summer.
FIRST Robotics Competition operates during the school year. Although some teams meet in the summer and all teams organize and register in the fall, the “official season” begins early in January when the season’s challenge is announced at a kickoff ceremony. From that point, teams work on their robot right up until their first competition.
Regional competitions start in late February and continue through April. Winning teams from regional competitions are invited to compete at a global FIRST Championship at the end of April.
Contact us for ideas to help you bring the FIRST Robotics Competition program to your students. Use the form in the sidebar to let us know you’re interested or contact Debbie English, Colorado FIRST Program Delivery Partner.
You’ll be surprised how simple and rewarding it is to bring this inspiring program to your school or organization.
Many colleges and universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school students on FIRST teams. This is official recognition of the knowledge and technical and life skills these students have gained from participating in a FIRST competitions. In addition, FIRST impacts admittance into highly competitive STEM programs.
Colleges and organizations in our area that offer FIRST scholarships will be present at our FIRST Robotics Competition Tournaments at a “Scholarship Row” so students can talk to them firsthand.
To learn more about post-secondary STEM programs and scholarship opportunities, check the links below.
You’ll be a difference-maker. The positive effects FIRST Robotics Competition brings is gratifying and well documented. More than 88 percent have more interest in doing well in school and 92 percent are more interested in attending college. See more about FIRST’s positive influences.
- You help connect classroom learning with real life
- You help students understand and explore potential careers
- You expose students to a collaborative (a real team) problem-solving process
- You help students experience a legitimate product delivery lifecycle
- You receive recognition and appreciation for your knowledge and experience
- Two 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)
- 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. (Teams have lots of important jobs available for all skill levels and interests.)
- A suitable meeting place
- A suitable space to design and build an industrial-sized robot (about 150 pounds) plus access to a variety of machine shop power tools
- 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 camaraderie, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be accepted, and HAVE FUN!
To learn more about starting a team, see Start a Team.
The really cool thing about FIRST Robotics Competition is that all skill levels are welcome and needed, technical or non-technical. What are you good at? Whatever it is, we have a job for you and we’ll probably teach you a few new skills while you’re with us.
Student team members are encouraged to bring any skills they already have, like programming, electronics, metalworking, graphic design, web creation, public speaking, videography, and more. FIRST Robotics Competition welcomes every student, with or without special skills. Like our mentors say: “This is the only sport where if you show up, you can play.”
Coaches complete the required screening and agree to the Youth Protection Program rules.
Registering your team makes you a part of the huge FIRST Robotics Competition community. You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST, along with a temporary team number in preparation for event registration in early October.
To contact us directly about starting a team, complete the “Have a Question or Comment” section on the side of this page or contact Debbie English Colorado FIRST Robotics Competition Program Delivery Partner.
FIRST® Robotics Competition Crescendo!SM
In the 2023 season, CreScendoSM presented by The Gene Haas Foundation, teams must use innovative engineering, creative thinking, and teamwork to reimagine the future of safe, high-speed travel, and lightning-fast deliveries to propel the next evolution of transportation forward – in this world and beyond. Watch the game animation for a closer look at CreScendo and important game details, rules, point-scoring, and game-play options here: https://frc-events.firstinspires.org/
This season’s challenge is Crescendo.
In CRESCENDO℠ presented by Haas, a new challenge debuting January 6, 2024, FIRST Robotics Competition teams will use their engineering skills and creative power to entertain and move the world.
Your annual team registration fee to FIRST covers your entry to one Regional Competition for this season and team selected parts or vouchers.
Volunteers are the heart of our program
FIRST is a volunteer-centric organization. Without volunteers, we cannot host competitions and other events for our students. Volunteering with FIRST is fun and rewarding as well as a great way to meet like-minded people!
There are many volunteer roles available for FIRST Robotics Competition – many requiring only one day. A few volunteer positions require online training in advance but most volunteers will be briefed the morning of the event. We especially need judges so please consider volunteering as a judge.
To volunteer for an event, please register through the FIRST system by clicking here and then following these steps:
- Log in to the system (or create an account) at https://firstinspires.org
- Click the “Volunteer Registration” tab
- Choose the “Event Volunteering” button
- Click “Clear Filters”
- Click the FRC button and choose your Country and State from the drop-down menus and then the Apply Filters button at the bottom of the screen
- Choose the event you are interested in by clicking the “View Event Details” button in the box for the event
- Choose the volunteer roles you are interested in.
Make sure you go through all the steps including the background screening process. After you register and your volunteer screening has been completed the Volunteer Coordinator for the event(s) you registered for will contact you with details about your role.
Click here for FIRST Robotics Competition Volunteer Roles