The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and compete in games designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.
FIRST redefines winning for these students by rewarding teams for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.
FRC Teams 10-20 high school age kids
Teams form in schools, clubs, and neighborhood groups. No requirements on affiliation.
Teams need a handful of adult coach/mentors including some engineering-mentors.
Kick off for FRC is in early January, though most teams will meet before then to develop basic skills and prepare for the season.
The season has a very strict 6-week build season. Robots must be in a box ready to ship to competition exactly 6 weeks after the kick off.
Regional Competitions take place in March and April.
There is currently only one FRC team in Alaska. That team is open to any student in the Anchorage area that wishes to participate.
Teams can be formed anywhere, though access to a machine shop and professional mentors (which can be done virtually) is recommended.
There are no FRC Tournaments in Alaska. Teams must fly to the Lower-48 or Hawaii to compete. A list of Regional Competitions can be found here.
FRC is the most expensive of the FIRST programs. A minimum of $20,000 is usually needed for a first year program (this includes travel funding to attend a tournament).