Updated: Feb 14, 2021
Written By: Raymond Tsui
As the robotics field is booming, there is no better time to learn more about it. Robotics competitions, like FRC, is a great way to learn about different aspects of engineering. For example, the robot needs to be designed, built, and programmed. These competitions also hone soft skills, such as teamwork, perseverance, and creative thinking.
FRC, or the FIRST Robotics Competition, is an international high school robotics competition. A team of high school students and adult mentors work together to build robots for six weeks. There are strict rules, limited time and resources, with students challenged to build the best robot. As well as designing, building, and programming the robots to win awards, students build team spirit, raise funds, and promote the STEM field in their community. It is not only a great way to make new like-minded friends, but also a great opportunity to learn more about the engineering field.
To compete in FRC, you must follow a series of easy steps:
1. Contact FRC at this link: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/start-a-team
They can help you formulate a plan to get your team funded, organized, and in touch with other groups.
2. Build your team
Each team is required to have at least 2 adult mentors to help for both technical and non-technical aspects of the project. You also need at least 10 students to be a part of the team.
Registering allows you to become a part of the FRC community.
You can register at this link: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/youth-registration-system
4. Build Robots
Build a robot that is programmed to perform specific tasks in the season’s game.
5. Attend an Event!
This is the easiest part! Attend an FRC event alongside competing teams.
There are also other robotics challenges, if FRC isn’t right for you. For example, the FIRST Tech Challenge, or FTC, which is related to FRC is a great way to compete in robotics. Unlike FRC, the FIRST Tech Challenge is geared for middle school and high school students, rather than just high school students. FTC is also less expensive than FRC. There is also Botball, which has its curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science and Common Core. Another robotics competition is VEX Robotics, in which elementary to university students get a chance to compete.