FIRST Tech Challenge is a robotics program designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments that are critiqued thru a detailed interview and judging process.
A recent study by Brandies University indicated that participants in FIRST robotics programs are more likely to attend college and three times more likely to major in engineering. Young women are four times more likely to pursue science or engineering in college, and minority team members are twice as likely to pursue science or engineering in college. Ninety percent of FTC participants say it has sparked their interest in math and science.