First Tech Challenge

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The First Tech Challenge is an after school program that students could participate in. What they do is build a robot to do a specific task to get points. What happens first is they have to have a team of either three or more. They work together to build a robot, each robot may look different but they’ll do the same task to get points.

The game challenge is different every year, and as such, many aspects change year-to-year. However, games are always played on a 12′ by 12′ square or diamond field covered in rubberized floor tiles. The game is played by two alliances (red and blue) of two teams each, for a total of four robots on the field each match. At the start of a match, the robots cannot exceed 18″ in height, width or length, but can expand during play. In each match, there is an autonomous period followed by an operator-controlled period. Depending on the year, the autonomous period can range from 20 to 45 seconds (30 is the most common) and the operator period lasts 2 minutes.

Along with building and programming a robot, FTC teams are required to create an ‘Engineering Notebook’ that documents their build season and team experience. It helps teams to reflect on positive and negative experiences and how to improve. It also shows the judges at tournaments what the teams have overcome throughout the challenge.

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