Under the current pandemic, the current season of ULTIMATE GOAL will look different than previous seasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
We take cancelling an event very seriously. We are all very familiar with winters in Iowa. For the complete cancelation policy, click here.
Throughout the FIRST Tech Challenge season, regular newsletters are sent out to coaches, students and volunteers. We encourage you to view the archive of the newsletters.
The FIRST Tech Challenge program is coordinated by staff and students at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. Learn about us here.
What is FIRST?
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. FIRST gives students the opportunity to develop the "muscle between their ears" and to gain experiences that will affect their future. It is truly a "Sport-for-the-Mind". Students who participate in FIRST use and reflect Gracious Professionalism, get real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts, and participate in an atmosphere that encourages team building, entrepreneurship and sportsmanship. Check out the other FIRST programs.
What is FIRST Tech Challenge?
FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year, and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors, and volunteers are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
The Robot is Just the Vehicle
Although the object is to build a robot, students who participate in FIRST Tech Challenge learn so much more. Students learn about working in a team environment, effective communication skills, being able to fail and succeed at the same time, and competing fairly while being supportive of their competition. Students who participate in FIRST Tech Challenge are well-rounded citizens of the world.
What grades can participate in FIRST Tech Challenge?
FIRST Tech Challenge is considered a high school program, but if a middle school team has had several years of FIRST LEGO League experiences, and is ready to move up to their next challenge, then FIRST Tech Challenge might be the right fit. Teams should be careful not to have a middle school student on a team with a upper-class high school student.
Current Season: ULTIMATE GOAL, presented by Qualcomm!
The rules and field design of ULTIMATE GOAL will be released on September 12, 2020. Check-out the FIRST website for the Game Manuals Part 1 & 2 (Remote and Traditional Format) and the ULTIMATE GOAL page and the FTC-Iowa 2020-2021 Season.
FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Registration
There is a registration fee to participate in FIRST Tech Challenge in Iowa. For more information, please visit this page.
FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championships
The FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championship is a culmination event for many of the teams in Iowa. Teams must qualify through the League Tournaments and the Super Qualifier Tournaments (2018-2019 Season) to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge-Iowa Championship. For more information about the Iowa Championship, including schedule and a FAQ, please visit the Championship webpage.
Team Email Blast Archive
FTC Student Support
We are currently accepting applications to work in the FTC-Iowa office at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. For more information, please visit this page.