It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to play a floor game in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!” Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop science, technology, engineering, and math skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages. Teams must also raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. Each season concludes with regional Championships and an exciting FIRST Championship.
A big advantage to participating in FIRST is gaining access to millions in college scholarships made available by colleges, universities, and corporations who support FIRST. This is an exclusive pool of financial help open only to FIRST team members, giving them a competitive leg up on other students seeking educational funds.
The South Carolina Robotics Education Foundation is the FIRST Tech Challenge State Affiliate Partner. They’re charged with the development of the program in South Carolina and hosting the annual State Championship.
Teams can be associated with schools, clubs, churches, community groups, etc. There’s no real restriction of how a team is set up, just a matter of having sufficient guidance and dedication to make it happen. A great starting place is to look to FIRST LEGO League teams transitioning to FIRST Tech Challenge as the teams get older and more experienced. This happens quite often. Transition grants are available from FIRST. Come join FIRST Tech Challenge!
Checkout the official FIRST Tech Challenge site at FIRST
For specific information related to the FIRST Tech Challenge program in South Carolina head over to
For more information contact the South Carolina FIRST Tech Challenge partner.
Bill Pedersen, Director
South Carolina Robotics Education Foundation
FIRST Tech Challenge State Affiliate Partner
Phone: (864) 490-8863