Starting a Team

Anyone can start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team! Teams may be made up of members from a school, church, scout troop, club or group of friends. It is often necessary to form a new team since existing teams may not be adding new members.

Details and resources can be found on the FIRST website under "Start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team", but here are the basic steps

  1. Recruit 3-15 students and 2 (min) adult coaches (including yourself). Team members must be ages of 13-18. An individual can only participate on one FIRST Tech Challenge team per season.
  2. Register the team with FIRSTTech Challenge. Registration opens in May and runs until mid-September or until all slots are filled, whichever comes first. Team members do not need to be identified until tournament registration in late fall. Registration with FIRST is an annual process and does not cover regional, state or national tournament fees. Team members do not need to be identified until tournament registration in late fall
  3. Order your robotics kit and begin practicing building techniques and learning the programming software.
  4. Attend the FIRST Tech Challenge OH Kick-Off in September, as FIRSTreveals the yearly FIRST Tech Challenge.
  5. After the kick-off, register for an Ohio Regional Qualifying Tournament. FIRST Tech Challenge OH has a qualifying system whereby teams must compete in one of six qualifying tournaments to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge OH Championship. Qualifying Tournaments are usually in December and January and the OH Championship is in February. Approximately 1/6 of the teams competing in qualifiers advance.

Note: Neither iSPACE or FIRST creates teams, hosts teams or places students onto teams.

Estimated Costs

The following sample budget is for a new team, purchasing one FIRST Tech Challenge competition kit and participating in one event. Team may choose to purchase additional parts and/or participate in multiple events, so fees would vary accordingly. Travel costs will vary due to the distance and time needed to travel to an event.

Cost: $1750 – $3000 for a new team, Subsequent years can be as low as $500.
$275 FIRST Tech Challenge Team Registration Fee
$125 FIRST Tech Challenge OH Regional Qualifier Registration Fee
$250 FIRST Tech Challenge OH Championship fee (if team advances)

Rookie Teams may apply for needs-based grants by going to Needs-based Grant.

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