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FIRST Tech Challenge

FTC is an exciting robotic based program that uses real world technology and programming. Designed for high school and middle school students, it is a program that students with no previous experience with FIRST or other technology can be successful. Using powerful DC motors and the new Tetrix system created by Pitsco and the power of the Android programming environment, it will allow for a wide range of exciting machines to be built.

A tabletop can become workshop for competitive machines to be built. The robotics kit provides motors,  sensors, and the Java programming language as well as metal gears and strong aluminum framing to allow a huge variety of robots to be constructed. A very generous allowance for materials gives teams flexibility to be creative.

Robots will be designed to compete with an autonomous period as well as an operator controlled time. Maximum sizes for the machines are 18" by 18" by 18". They will compete on a 12 foot by 12 foot field.

Interleague Championship 2015

The game kickoff is mid September, but teams form as late as mid October. Our contests are held end of Nov thru Dec.

Target Group

  • Middle and high school aged students (7th thru 12th)
  • Up to 10 students per team
  • 1 to 3 mentors per team
  • No experience required for students, teachers, or mentors. This project is perfect for teams just getting started in robotics.

Game Format

  • Matches played in a 12 foot by 12 foot field
  • Alliances of robots compete against each other for score
  • Use of sensors, programming, mechanical engineering principles and team work
  • Autonomous and tele-operated phases of play
  • Uneven surfaces, manipulation of objects and navigation

Season Format

  • Your team will play 2 League qualifier events on  11/21/15 and 12/12/15
  • Your team will play at an Inter-league Championship event 1/16/2016 or 1/17/2016. Alliance selection uses accumulated scores.
  • If your team advances to the State Championship, you will play on 1/30/2016
  • Your team will have a judging session at your Inter-league Championship and State Championship

Typical Team Meeting Structure

  • Most teams meet 2 or 3 times a week for 3 hours
  • Typically the last two weeks require teams to meet a few extra times
  • Most teams have a mentor or teacher to help guide and teach, but the students do the majority of the work


Washington state public schools are eligible to apply for iGrants from OSPI to cover the cost of this program!

Visit out grants page for more information. 

Team Budget

FTC Team Budget Item

Rookie Team Cost

Veteran Team Cost




U.S.FIRST National FTC Registration

$ 275

$ 275

Kit of Parts(1 time cost)



Control System Kit(2 cell phones, charge. cable)

$ 300

$ 300

Electronic Modules Sensor Kit

$ 391

$ 127

Matrix or Tetrix(choose 1, your choice)

$ 500


Kit of Parts Total

$ 1,191

$ 427


$ 1,466

$ 702

Washington FIRST Robotics



Washington FIRST Robotics FTC Registration


$ 882

Additional Team Expense



Misc Expenses: t-shirts, additional robot parts, travel

$ 400

$ 400

Season Total

$ 2,748

$ 1,984

Starting an FTC team

Once you have decided to start an FTC team the following steps should allow you to get through all of the important points. 

  • If the students are new to FIRST or competitive technology based programs and under the age of 13 you may want to consider FLL. Click here to see our FLL program >>

  • An adult that will act as a main contact and is able to communicate through email is important. Almost all information about the program comes through email. Regular reading of these updates will make a team more successful.

  • School affiliation is not required but a central organization where students meet and work on their machine is important. Most work can be done on a  table top, storage in a cupboard. To simulate the playing field a 12 foot by 12 foot area should be available at times, especially near the end of the build (End of November through January).

  • Register your team at, ,  You will be registering through a system called Team Information Management System, TIMS.

  • Once registered you will be asked to pay your registration fee. Once paid you will be given your official team number that will stay with the team each year.

  • Order a Robotics Kit. On the information page of TIMS there is a link for ordering a kit. 

  • Register on the Google Group WashingtonFTC. This will be the main point of contact with the Affiliate Partner as well as an easy way for teams to interact. 

  • When registration for the Washington State Championship opens register on this site.

Keep in touch

There are several ways to communicate and learn things about FTC.

Engineering Notebook

Some rookie teams choose not to maintain an engineering notebook. Many of the awards are based on the information contained in the book. Make a strong effort to have the team use the book daily and contain meaningful information about the design/engineering process that the students used. More information about this will be in your teams manual.



A direct link to a YouTube video showing the 6 minute FTC video is here: