Volunteers make up 99% of the FIRST workforce. We seek technical and non-technical experts - there's a volunteer role suited to all interests.
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.
Once registered, a team joins a the FIRST Tech Challenge community. Coaches will begin receiving communications as well as a temporary team number.
Directions on how to add or change a primary coach with FIRST.
Yes. All teams in Iowa need to register and pay am FTC-Iowa registration fee.
It is important to note: the FIRST program registration fee stays at FIRST in New Hampshire. None of those fees support the local expenses FTC-Iowa incurs.
The FTC-Iowa registration fee for the 2023-2024 CENTERSTAGE Season is $265/team. We have a No Refund Policy.
The link to register with FTC-Iowa is sent out to teams after they completed the FIRST registration.
For more information, including the other registration fees, please visit the FTC Iowa Registration page.
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.
The 2023-2024 FTC Season is Iowa's 15th Season and we are celebrating! Take a look at our trivia questions and win prizes! They are released weekly starting on Mondays. Check it out!
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: CENTERSTAGE, presented by RTX!
The rules and field design of CENTERSTAGE will be released on September 9, 2023 and the FIRST website will be the place to go to find the PowerPlay Game Manuals Part 1 & 2 (Remote and Traditional Format). There is a registration fee to participate in FIRST Tech Challenge in Iowa. For more information, please visit this page.
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.