What is FTC®?
What does FTC® Do?
FTC stands for FIRST® Tech Challenge, a robotics competition hosted by FIRST. During the season, teams of up to 15 students (grades 7-12) build smaller robots within a period of about 12 weeks in order to complete challenges against other competing teams. Each team has professional mentors who volunteer and guide their team through the season, during which students team build, fund raise, refine skills, and build their robots, ending with a FIRST championship. FTC operates throughout the school year, with teams forming and registering during the fall, with the season starting almost immediately afterwards. The competition season officially begins with a kickoff in September, where the season's challenge is given and the teams begin to design and build the robots to use in district and regional qualifiers from November through March. Qualifying teams are then invited to the FIRST championship at the end of April. The Power Hawks Robotics Club has three FTC teams, the Talons, Mech Hawks, and Cybirds.
Are There Any Required Skills?
All students are encouraged to join, regardless of skill level.Teams utilize various skills in order to become successful, so all skills are welcomed, both technical and non-technical. Students are encouraged to make use of existing special skills and to learn and practice new ones during their time on the team.
How Will Participating Affect Your Future?
Graduates of high-school level FIRST programs automatically become alumni, and FIRST alumni are 2.6 times more likely to attend engineering courses in college, over 75% of alumni work in STEM fields as students or professionals, around half of alumni continue to involve themselves in FIRST as coaches, mentors, volunteers, and/or donors, and about a third of alumni currently hold leadership positions within their communities. Alumni can also qualify for numerous networking and internship opportunities as well as scholarships. For 2019 alone, there is about $80 million worth of scholarships available from about 200 providers. Students also master STEM skills, improve teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills, learn and practice Gracious Professionalism, and learn about and use sophisticated software, hardware, and tools through real-world experience building and competing with a robot that they design, guided by professional engineers.