FIRST Tech Challenge
The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competition for middle and high school students offers the inspiration of a FIRST Robotics Competition, but is generally more affordable and accessible. It's also a great step up for experienced FIRST LEGO League teams.
Teams of up to 10 students (or more), with adult leaders and mentors, build a remote-controlled robot using the LEGO Mindstorms controller and metal parts. Each year's game is different, and teams must strategize, design and build their robots accordingly. At competitions, two-team alliances square off in successive two-and-a-half minute rounds combining autonomous and operator-controlled play.
During the season, teams document their progress and the process behind the creation and deployment of their robot, then present their results to judges. Teams can earn awards in areas that include engineering, design excellence, competitive play and sportsmanship. Participants in the FIRST Tech Challenge are eligible for millions of dollars in college scholarships through FIRST.